Arsenal are ready to stump up the €50m (£42m) buyout clause for Atlético Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey to prise him away from La Liga this summer. However, the player himself is said to be keen to sign a new deal at the Spanish club.
The Ghanaian midfielder is currently under contract with Atleti until 2023, but is reportedly in negotiations with club officials over a new deal in Madrid with a higher salary and added bonuses to match his importance to Diego Simeone's side.
According to Libertad Digital, the Gunners have already reached out to the player's representatives, tabling their interest, while making it clear they would be prepared to pay his buyout clause to bring him to London.
However, despite interest from Arsenal, Thomas is described as keen to stay in Madrid.
The 26-year-old has spent his entire senior career at the Spanish giants and has recently hinted at his intention to stay put as long as he is wanted at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Speaking earlier in February, Thomas said via Goal: "I think I am proud for having attracted the attention of other teams and this motivates me because it makes me feel that I am doing things well and improving things.
"There are things that you always think since childhood, but when you grow up things can change and you don't know what can happen, but my desire is to stay here until the team don't want me anymore."
Atleti are said to be 'unaware' of Arsenal's interest in their player but have made it clear that they want to retain the midfielder, whom they view as a key part of their team.
The 26-year-old has been a regular for Diego Simeone, having made 33 appearances in all competitions this season, while he recently scored his third goal of the campaign - in the 2-2 draw against Valencia.
However, it is his defensive work that has previously drawn the attention of clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, with his tackling and ability to win possession, in particular, key strengths of his game.