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Rio Ferdinand has urged Chelsea to take advantage of Arsenal’s indecision and make a move for Thomas Partey, a signing which would complete a perfect summer for Frank Lampard.
The Ghana international had been earmarked as a priority target by Mikel Arteta but the cash-strapped Gunners have been unable to raise the funds required to activate the midfielder’s €50million release clause.
Lucas Torreira is set to complete his loan move from Arsenal to Atletico Madrid this weekend, but that deal is said to have no bearing on Partey’s future and a potential move to north London.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have embarked on a near unprecedented summer of spending with Lampard having made seven major signings already at a cost of well over £200m.
Lampard still harbours an interest in West Ham’s England international Declan Rice, but their London rivals are determined to hold onto their prize asset and reports on Friday claimed the Blues could now switch their attention to Partey which would represent a shrew move, according to Ferdinand.
He told BT Sport: ‘I think a huge thing for them is to stop conceding goals. I think Frank would have looked at it last season and three of the back four that will be playing today are new players.
‘He’ll have seen that, a lot of goals conceded and I think the most conceded in 22 years at the club. More importantly we reports today of Partey coming in in that central area.
‘I don’t think he’s happy with the likes of Kovacic or Jorginho. You can see that because he’s chopping and changing in those positions.
‘Getting someone like that in to protect the back four or five along with Kante goes a long way to nulifying the goals against.’
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole added: ‘As soon as possible I think Frank wants to nail down the goalkeeping position and back four and then he can just tinker with that midfield and Partey would be a fantastic signing.’