Arsenal's board set themselves a "ceiling" over a price for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer market.
Le 10 Sport says Gunners had a “ceiling price" for the midfielder and would not be committed to overpaying, irrespective of the need to sign a creative midfielder.
Mikel Arteta highlighted both Aouar and Partey as ideal targets to add to the midfield, and the club negotiated on both fronts throughout the summer window.
However, they had a specific value for Aouar that they would not rise above. It is believed that they submitted a £35million bid which was swiftly rejected by Lyon, whose valuation of the Frenchman was above the maximum price Arsenal were willing to pay.
With any move for Aouar impossible due to the disparity in valuation, Arsenal turned their attention to Partey on deadline day, activating his release clause and securing the transfer.