Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Geoffrey Kondogbia from Valencia after being granted permission to sign a replacement for Thomas Partey after Arsenal activated his release clause.
Diego Simeone has been looking for a new midfielder to bolster his squad having lost Partey on deadline day, with La Liga rules permitting Atletico one month to bring in a new player after the Ghanaian’s release clause was deposited.
Atleti had been frustrated in their attempts to do so but, with time running out, are increasingly confident they will get a deal for Kondogbia over the line.
Interestingly, Arsenal have long been linked with the French midfielder – dating back as far as Arsene Wenger’s time in charge as well as more recently during Mikel Arteta’s reign.
When a deal for Partey looked unlikely to happen earlier this summer, the Gunners had reportedly looked into the possibility of signing Kondogbia for a cut-price fee as Valencia sold off a vast swathe of first-team stars.
But ultimately the 27-year-old remained at the Mestalla and Arsenal eventually stumped up the full £45million buyout fee to sign Partey.
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Although Atletico brought in Lucas Torreira on loan from Arsenal – with the Uruguayan impressing so far – his arrival was always intended to be in addition to keeping Partey, not as a replacement.
Atleti were blindsided by Arsenal’s late move and have been looking to bring in a player to fill his void, with Kondogbia ticking plenty of boxes.
Talks with Valencia had initially been frustrating for Atletico, but according to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, they have now agreed a transfer fee that could reach as much as €20million (£18m).
Kondogbia just needs to undergo a medical on Sunday before the deal can be rubberstamped, but all parties are optimistic that the transfer will be completed.
The former Inter Milan and Monaco midfielder has been pushing to be allowed to leave Valencia for the Spanish capital since learning for Atletico’s interest and will be able to play for his new club straight away.
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