Arsenal have signed Thomas Partey after Atletico Madrid revealed the Gunners paid the midfielder’s reported £45million release clause with a little more than half an hour remaining on transfer deadline day.
The 27-year-old Ghanaian has represented the LaLiga club 188 times, helping them win the Europa League and Super Cup two years ago, but has now agreed a switch to the Emirates Stadium on a “long-term contract”.
Uruguay’s Lucas Torreira has moved in the opposite direction, joining Atletico on a season-long loan deal, while fellow midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has gone to Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin for the rest of the campaign.
The Spanish club announced that Arsenal had paid Partey’s buyout clause at LaLiga headquarters with minutes to spare.
They said in a statement: “LaLiga informed Atletico de Madrid at 11.28pm on Monday that Arsenal representatives have paid Thomas Partey’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters.
“The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023.”
Arsenal then confirmed the signing a quarter of an hour after the transfer window had closed.
Partey, who has been capped 27 times by his country, scoring 10 goals, made 35 appearances last season as Atletico finished behind only Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish top-flight.
Arsenal have already signed Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian while Dani Ceballos has been loaned from Real Madrid for a second successive season.
Manager Mikel Arteta said of his latest signing: “We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high-quality player to our squad.
“He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in LaLiga and the Champions League for several years.
“We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game.
“He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the moment at the club.”
Partey will wear the number 18 shirt and link up with his new team-mates after returning from international duty.
Torreira, meanwhile, departs north London having made 89 appearances after leaving Sampdoria in 2018 to sign for Arsenal, where he was part of the side that won the FA Cup last season.
Guendouzi made 82 appearances since joining the Gunners from Lorient two years ago but he has found himself surplus to requirements under Arteta this season.
The France Under-21s international has not been selected in a matchday squad since a post-game incident in June’s defeat at Brighton led to further-reaching questions about his mentality.