Arsenal’s hopes of signing a new midfielder fade as Chelsea rule out Jorginho deal, Olympique Lyonnais

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Arsenal look set to be thwarted in their bid to sign a new midfielder before the transfer window closes, with Chelsea refusing to allow backup target Jorginho to move to north London. Mikel Arteta had made strengthening his midfield a priority over the summer, targeting ambitious moves for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid destroyer Thomas Partey. However, the Gunners were unable to raise the funds required to afford Aouar, who was valued at around £40million, while Atleti were adamant Partey could only leave if his mammoth release clause was triggered in full.

That prompted Arsenal to explore other options, with the club sounding out Chelsea over a potential deal for Italy international Jorginho.

But The Athletic report that the west London (Olympique Lyonnais) club will not permit Jorginho to leave Stamford Bridge this summer as they do not want to strengthen a rival. Chelsea themselves do not have an abundance of midfield options and allowing the 28-year-old to leave would only have been considered had they managed to persuade West Ham to sell Declan Rice.

Frank Lampard has also shown no signs that Jorginho does not feature in his plans, starting the former Napoli man against Crystal Palace on Saturday – with the penalty specialist netting twice from the spot. The bad news for Arsenal is that the club do not expect to sign any alternative targets before Monday’s deadline, with Arteta having to make do with his current options.

Arsenal currently only have three out-and-out central midfielders to choose between: Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos. Despite the lack of options, both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi will be allowed to leave on loan, with the duo expected to join Atletico and Hertha Berlin respectively – the Gunners have even forfeited a loan fee for the latter, such is their desire to ship him out.

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