Athletico Madrid Youngstar in contact with Thomas Partey as Arsenal battle with Manchester United and Chelsea for him

Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix is in contact with Arsenal ace Thomas Partey as the Gunners battle Manchester United and Chelsea to sign the Portugal ace.

The 23-year-old is set to leave the La Liga giants this month after a falling out with Diego Simeone over playing time in the Spanish capital.

Felix joined the club for around £130m four years ago but he’s failed to live up to his reputation in Madrid, with the forward proving a bad fit for Simeone’s side.

Felix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has offered his client to a host of Premier League clubs as Atletico seek to offload the striker.

While Manchester City and Liverpool have passed on the opportunity, Chelsea, United and Arsenal have all shown initial interest.

Atletico are seeking an extortionate overall package of £18m for Felix to leave the club on a six-month loan.

No English club is willing to pay that fee, with the three interested parties confident that Atletico will accept closer to around £9m by the end of January.

Once the Spanish club accept a lower fee, it will come down to Felix’s preference on who he chooses to join and the Athletic say Arsenal have a secret weapon in Partey.

The Ghana international was a club team-mate of Felix before his move to Arsenal in 2020 and the pair have stayed in close contact ever since.

Partey has been a crucial component of Arsenal’s side this term, helping the Gunners to a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Arsenal’s desire to sign Felix stems from the fact that Gabriel Jesus is set to miss the next two months of action with a knee injury, after suffering the problem on international duty at the World Cup.

Felix does have international team-mates at Manchester United, while Chelsea would likely offer the best chance of regular playing time.

But for Felix to get his desired move to the Premier League, Atletico must first reduce their demands.

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