It was reported that the La Liga club was angry with the Ghana international over his last-minute move to the North London club.
The 27-year-old midfielder became an Arsenal player when the Premier League club on Monday night paid his €50 million buyout clause.
According to Atletico, they were informed by La Liga at 11.28 p.m. Spanish time, just over half an hour before the transfer window closed that Arsenal’s representatives had been at their Madrid headquarters that evening to exercise the player’s release clause.
“LaLiga has communicated to Atlético de Madrid this Monday at 11:28 pm that representatives of Arsenal have appeared at the headquarters of the football organization in order to exercise the termination clause of the footballer Thomas Partey.
“In this way, the player has unilaterally terminated the employment contract that bound him to our club until June 30, 2023,” a statement on the club’s website reads.
However, sources told ESPN that the club was resigned to losing Partey to Arsenal, thereby reducing the number of games he featured in this season. So, Arsenal’s actions to them were not upsetting.
Athletico knows Partey will eventually leave
Meanwhile, Futballnews.com knew that Partey was likely to leave the club as the Gunners focused on him after Lyon midfielder Houseem Aouar committed himself to the Ligue 1 club for at least another season.
It got interesting when Chelsea joined the queue of the clubs that wanted him. Having declared that they wanted nothing but 50m Euros for the midfielder, Arsenal went straight to pay his release clause fee without negotiating further with the club. This is the rule concerning the release clause in Spain.
Athletico was aware there could be some late movement in the market. Diego Simeone after their goalless draw against Villareal on Saturday admitted that the club was “worried” about “bad surprises, which can always happen in football. And that happened 48 hours later with Partey moving away from the club.
Athletico initially insisted that Partey and Oblak were not for sale. This was a concern for the club that has no replacement yet for them. But the club had to accept what happened on Monday when the news broke. The realization was that there was nothing they could do about it.
Antoine Griezmann, Rodri Hernandez, and Lucas Hernandez had left the club in similar circumstances a year ago, but Partey’s instance was different because his move was last minute.
The option Athletico has now is to find his replacement. Fortunately, they have an extra one month, according to the Spanish rules. The player must come from within La Liga.
Why Athletico was angry with Partey
Meanwhile, Atletico was unimpressed with Partey‘s willingness to leave the club. This was because he rose through the ranks during his eight years stint. The departure of the academy product, who joined them as a teenager in 2012 now puts them in a difficult position.
This is more reason why the club is said to be angry with the lad, who has become an important player, after breaking into the first team in 2015.
Despite becoming a key player over the past three seasons, Partey was one of the worst-paid members of the first-team squad.
He had been offered a new improved contract earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic, which he rejected.
The club also offered him a reduced deal after the pandemic lockdown in line with the new financial environment in a bid to increase his buyout clause to reflect his market value. Partey turned down the offer went on to be linked to Arsenal throughout the summer.
Atletico had refused to negotiate with Arsenal, insisting that no formal bids had been made. The Gunners initially were reluctant to pay the full value of his clause, giving Atletico the edge to hold on to the player, until Monday’s dramatic late-night conclusion.
The crux of the matter was that Arsenal didn’t make a courtesy call to let them know they were willing to pay the Ghana midfielder’s 50m euros (£45m) buyout clause.