Arsenal identify Thomas Partey transfer alternative

Arsenal and Leeds are battling for the same transfer target.

Arsenal could reportedly try and sign Dijon star Mounir Chouiar if they cannot raise enough funds to buy their top target Thomas Partey. Leeds and Wolves are also said to be in the running to capture the attacking midfielder.

Mikel Arteta has done well on his tight budget so far in this transfer window.

Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Willian have been brought in to bolster the squad while Dani Ceballos has returned for a second loan spell.

For Mikel Arteta to continue strengthening, he must offload some of his fringe stars to raise much-needed cash.

Atletico Madrid will not sell Partey leave for any less than his £45million release clause.

That has led Arsenal to start looking at cheaper alternatives – a path which has led them to Chouiar.

French publication L’Equipe claims the 21-year-old was taken out of the Dijon squad which lost 2-0 to Brest earlier today because of his impending move.

Chouiar scored four goals in 20 Ligue 1 starts last season before France’s top division was brought to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Lens youngster would be allowed to leave for a fee in the region of £18.5m, according to L’Equipe.

Leeds are also considering a move after putting in an impressive performance in the 4-3 loss to Liverpool yesterday.

The Yorkshire side have already smashed their record transfer fee to bring in Rodrigo from Valencia for £27million.

And manager Marcelo Bielsa is delighted with how his side marked their return to the Premier League after a b16-year absence.

“It was a just defeat,” said Bielsa. “It was a rival who made it hard to neutralise them.

“In the second half especially, we struggled to get the ball from defence to attack, we didn’t create danger and although the effort was very good, it wasn’t enough to play the game on even terms.