Arsenal have back-up plan if Partey or Aouar transfers cannot be done

Arsenal have already made a number of signings this summer, bringing in Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Runar Alex Runarsson, as well as re-signing Dani Ceballos on loan, but manager Mikel Arteta is after more.

Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Thomas Partey and Lyon star Houssem Aouar are being eyed by the Gunners but, if they miss out on one or both of them, the Athletic's transfer guru David Ornstein is reporting that they will turn their attention to back-up options.

Speaking on the latest edition of Ask Ornstein, he said: "Aouar and Partey are Arsenal's top two central midfield targets for this window. They are trying. Whether or not they get one or both of them I don't know.

"They do have back-up options if they don't and it could come down to who Arsenal are able to shift out of the club to free up squad space and also the willingness of their owners KSE to sanction such investment.

"Evidence over the last year or so suggests that they will. However, I can't give you a definitive answer.

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"Some I speak to think it's more likely that they end up with one of them and, to that extent, possibly more likely Partey because of the position he plays and Arsenal's need to strengthen in that area.

"Also, he has a release clause which makes it more clear cut unless Arsenal can negotiate lower or form some sort of swap deal with Atletico Madrid.

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"In addition, Lyon are notoriously hard to deal with. [They are] tough negotiators, especially their president [Jean-Michel] Aulas, so that could complicate things around Aouar whose transfer fee is reportedly higher than the Partey buy-out clause.

"On the flip side to all of that, Edu, Arsenal's technical director, has a very good relationship with his Lyon counterpart Juninho and Aouar is represented by the same agency as Mikel Arteta, so it's going to be a fascinating couple of weeks."

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