Reports suggest that Arsenal may postpone their pursuit of Brentford striker Ivan Toney in the January transfer window due to Thomas Partey’s injury setback.
Mikel Arteta’s team had prioritized Toney’s signing, with both Arsenal and Chelsea making inquiries about the 27-year-old forward.
However, Brentford’s £80 million valuation and Toney’s ongoing eight-month ban have complicated matters.
Persistent injuries have plagued Partey in recent years, with two distinct problems sidelining him for a cumulative period exceeding six weeks since the commencement of the 2023/24 season.
The most recent setback is anticipated to keep him out for the remainder of the year, casting doubt on his availability for Ghana’s participation in AFCON next year.
As a result, he might not reclaim a significant on-field role until February 2024.
The club is said to have “major concerns” about Partey’s prolonged absence and is now contemplating the addition of a new midfielder in the upcoming transfer window, potentially shifting focus away from the pursuit of Ivan Toney.
Recent reports indicate that Arsenal’s primary target in the midfield is Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
Despite having multiple offers for the Brazilian rejected by Villa last year, Arsenal’s interest persists. Douglas Luiz has subsequently extended his contract with Villa, committing to the club until 2026.
In addition to Luiz, Arsenal continues to be interested in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi.
However, the 24-year-old has expressed his reluctance to leave the Spanish club before the conclusion of the current campaign.
Although Arteta’s side made an approach for Zubimendi in January, the midfielder, who has a €60 million (£52.6m) release clause in his contract with Real Sociedad, deemed it ‘illogical’ to switch clubs midway through the season.
With Partey facing an extended absence, it appears that Declan Rice and Jorginho are poised for consistent playing time in the midfield.
Other alternatives in this position include Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, Emile Smith Rowe, and Fabio Vieira.
Presently, Odegaard and Smith Rowe are sidelined due to injuries, but there’s optimism that the club captain could make a return this weekend.
Additionally, Smith Rowe is targeting a comeback following the conclusion of the November international break.
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