Mikel Areteta reveals Arsenal star will not be leaving after Declan Rice transfer threw Gunners future into doubt | The Sun

Mikel Areteta reveals Arsenal star will not be leaving after Declan Rice transfer threw Gunners future into doubt | The Sun

MIKEL ARTETA has ruled out the departure of Thomas Partey and insists the midfielder is still a key part of his Arsenal plans.

Partey’s Emirates future has been up in the air following the club record signing of £100million Declan Rice.

But Arteta is adamant that the 30-year-old Ghanaian international is going nowhere as he looks to assemble a squad to topple Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Saudi club Al Ahli have been weighing up a £30million bid for Partey, who still has two years remaining on his Arsenal contract.

But Arteta says: “Thomas is a super important player for us and I want him to be a part of our team, that’s for sure.

“Him and Rice can play together in the same team. That was always in my plans.


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“If you want to improve the squad, you need more quality players in the same position to fight for places in the team.

“That’s something we haven’t had in the last few years. We wanted to improve that and that’s why we have bought Declan as well.

“So I expect Thomas to stay and every time I have spoken with him the conversation has been that he is ready to do that.”

Rice’s club record signing from West Ham last week has taken Arsenal’s summer spending to £200milion following the arrivals of £65million Kai Havertz and £35million Jurrien Timber.

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And Arteta does not rule out the possibility of adding even more players before this transfer window closes.

He says: “There will still be movement. There will be a lot of ins and outs.

“If we can improve the team, we will try to do it. But we don’t want to get any weaker and we have to be sure that doesn’t happen.”

One player who seems certain to leave this summer is Nicolas Pepe, the £72million winger who has just returned to the club after an underwhelming season on loan at Nice.

The 28-year-old Ivorian international is not part of Arsenal’s 29-man squad currently touring the USA and has not attracted any bids from potential buyers.

Arsenal are reluctant to let him leave for nothing, but with 12 months still to run on his £140,000-a-week contract could be forced to cut their losses just to get him off the wage bill.

Arteta says: “He’s not with us in America because he’s recovering from an injury, but he had a spell on loan and we wanted to get more from that.

“We’ll have a chat when he comes back and try to understand what the plans are before we make a decision.”

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