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Ghana coach Akonnor: Why Partey should stay at Atletico Madrid and ignore Arsenal interest

18:05 BST 13/08/2020
Thomas Partey Atletico Madrid 2019-20
The 27-year-old is set to soon make a choice between The Gunners and the Rojiblancos over his club future 

Ghana coach CK Akonnor has advised Atletico Madrid ace Thomas Teye Partey to snub offers from Arsenal in favour of a stay with Los Rojiblancos.

The midfielder is reportedly a top target of The Gunners, with a speculated £45 million release clause a barrier to an imminent move. Premier League rivals Manchester United have also been mentioned to be keeping tabs on the 27-year-old.

From progressing through Atletico's youth system, Partey has become a regular feature in Diego Simeone's first-team set-up, having made a combined 100 league appearances over the last three La Liga seasons.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t want him to move to Arsenal because with Atletico, he will always play Champions League football. His position is guaranteed and he will always play,” Akonnor told Starr FM.

“With Arsenal, I’m not too sure. Arsenal fans will kill me [for saying he should not join the Gunners].

“I hope that, and I’m sure money issues will come in, but I hope that whatever he asks for, Atletico will be able to pay."

Akonnor also shed light on the international future of former AC Milan duo Sulley Ali Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng who have been out of Ghana's set-up since being sent home over separate acts of indiscipline during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Both players have expressed interest in making a return to the Black Stars but it is uncertain if they will ultimately have their wish, having been consistently snubbed for six years.

“I met Sulley Muntari a few weeks ago and I was honestly impressed with what I saw him do with the ball but time will tell," Akonnor said.

"With Kevin-Prince Boateng too, time will tell. I know he is doing well and he will return to Italy. So we are keeping track of him and we will see."

While Boateng has made a return to Italian Serie A side Fiorentina following a loan spell with Turkish fold Besiktas last season, Muntari, who is currently in search for a new club since leaving Spanish lower tier outfit Albacete last year, has been linked to Ghana Premier League (GPL) fold Hearts of Oak.

''We don't have a quota for local based players in the national team but if you're a home-based player and you work hard, you’ll be called," Akonnor added.

The former Wolfsburg captain was named Ghana coach in January, tasked to lead the Black Stars to Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) victory in 2022 and to guide the team to secure qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.