Arsenal are reportedly bracing themselves for Juventus to try and poach Thomas Partey in January as a replacement for Paul Pogba. The latter is facing the possibility of a four-year ban from football after returning a positive drugs test earlier this week.
Pogba has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, with Juventus needing to find an adequate replacement in the middle of the park. Reports in Italy have claimed that Pogba’s contract will be terminated if he is slapped with a lengthy ban and it seems as though the Italian giants have already started to draw up a contingency plan.
They have earmarked Partey as one of their potential targets, according to La Repubblica, with the Arsenal man having impressed those in power at the Allianz Stadium. He is only tied down until the end of next season as things stand and is yet to be offered an extension to his current deal in north London.
Partey, who joined Arsenal for a transfer fee of around £45million three years ago, was linked with a move to Juventus during the summer transfer window. He ultimately ended up staying in England but there is said to be a possibility that Juventus will return to the table in January.
However, the report adds that it will be difficult to convince Arsenal to sell Partey given his importance to Mikel Arteta’s plans for the campaign ahead. He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, which was sustained in training earlier this month, but he is expected to be back in action before the end of October.
Partey started in Arsenal’s first three Premier League matches, often featuring at right-back in the absence of Jurrien Timber following his injury on the opening day of the season. His versatility will come in handy for the Gunners over the course of the campaign, with Mikel Arteta having already underlined his desire to keep Partey at the Emirates Stadium.
“Without a question of a doubt, Thomas Partey is a super important player for us and for me, I want him to be in the team,” said the Arsenal boss in July.
“Every time I speak to him and every time I have a conversation with him, his will is to stay with us. For me, there’s nothing there at all. You want to improve the squad and have more quality. We need players who can play together but we need players in the same position who can fight for their places.”
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