Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a January transfer for Fulham star Joao Palhinha in a move that could supposedly end Thomas Partey’s Gunners career, it has been claimed. Clubs from across Europe are lining up to sign Palhinha after a move to Bayern Munich failed in the summer.
Palhinha has continued to shine for Marco Silva’s Fulham and could reportedly be on the move in January. The 28-year-old is reportedly wanted by Arsenal as Mikel Arteta plans another midfield addition.
Fulham had to turn down a £55m offer from Bayern in the final days of the summer window. The Cottagers were unable to source a replacement, with a bid for Manchester United’s Scott McTominay reported to have failed.
Arsenal want to sign another midfielder to compete with Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and club captain Martin Odegaard. According to the Mirror, a deal for Palhinha would end Ghana international Partey’s career in north London.
Partey has been a key player for Arsenal over the last few years, helping the Gunners compete for the Premier League title last season. But the addition of Rice and a campaign hampered by injuries have pushed the 30-year-old out of the picture.
That is despite team-mate Olesandr Zinchenko insisting that Partey is a better defensive midfielder than Casemiro and Rodri. Asked to compare the three by Rio Ferdinand on the Vibe With Five Podcast, the Ukrainian said: “I don’t want to say something bad. Casemiro is a world class player, five Champions Leagues. But if I had to choose, it would be Partey.
“If I had the debate in my head, who is the best holding midfielder I have ever played with – it was between Fernandinho, Rodri and Partey. It is a tough one. I watched Fernandinho when he was at Shakhtar and he helped me so much. I love him like an older brother.”
United legend Ferdinand then asked Zinchenko if he truly believed Partey was better than Rodri and he replied: “Rio, please come and see him in training. He has everything.”
Despite a near-£200m summer outlay, Arsenal could be busy again in January. Sporting director Edu has not ruled out any business in the winter window. “To work for a football club like Arsenal, it is always busy, isn’t it?” the Brazilian told Amazon Prime.
“You need to put in a lot of effort and energy and dedicate a lot of time, but of course in January and the summer, it does intensify a bit. We are prepared.
“We have big people around the club to support me and the decisions. We always have our targets – it is important to be prepared for every single scenario – that is very important.”