Arsenal have given midfielder Thomas Partey permission to explore a transfer to the Saudi Pro League.
SaudiArabia is pumping money into its league, which has already seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema take their careers there this year. There was also interest in Lionel Messi, while a host of other players including Hakim Ziyech, Kalidou Koulibaly and Ruben Neves are edging towards moves.
Partey joined Arsenal in a £45m transfer from Atletico Madrid in 2020 and featured in 33 of 38 Premier League games this past season as the Gunners mounted a first title challenge in 15 years.
But Arsenal are already seeking to evolve a promising young squad and are open to letting 30-year-old Partey go, despite returning to the Champions League and just three years after making him the then fourth most expensive player in their history
the appeal of Partey heading to Saudi Arabia on a permanent transfer, rather than staying in Europe, is that The Gunners are hopeful of potentially even turning a profit by selling for in excess of the £45m they paid.
Partey may not be the only midfielder heading for the exit as Granit Xhaka has agreed a deal to join Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, although Arsenal are not prepared to sanction his departure until they have wrapped up a deal for a replacement.
The Gunners are leading the chase for West Ham and England star Declan Rice, who is valued by his current club in excess of £100m.
Arsenal have already been in talks with the Hammers but saw an opening bid for Rice rejected for falling short.