Let us take you on a Thomas  timeline to frame the claims of Manchester United interest this week.

Back on March 22nd, Marca reported ‘several Premier League clubs’ were keen on signing Thomas Partey, and had contacted the Atletico Madrid player’s entourage.

The Spanish newspaper reported the midfielder’s release clause is €50m, and explained he was looking for assurances from Diego Simeone ahead of next season.

Then, on April 1st (but not as a joke), Ghana’s CitiNewsRoom referred to the player’s €50m clause, and stated: ‘Manchester United have identified Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey as a summer transfer target, as the Red Devils seek to beef up their midfield options.

‘According to sources close to the player, the Ghanaian is very keen on a move to Old Trafford as he wants to fulfil his dream of playing in the Premier League.’

That sounded pretty concrete, until they added: ‘Partey is reportedly on the list of possible recruits’ 

Now, either he is on the list or it’s just reportedly, perhaps we’re being picky… but then that’s our job.

What was interesting is that CitiNewsRoom have interviewed Thomas on more than one occasion, so it’s reasonable to believe they have a contact.

Things largely went quiet, and then on May 16th, the player’s agent spoke to PassioneInter. Jose Daniel Jimenez Pozanco said: “Inter is a top club, but I haven’t talked to anyone yetThe termination clause in Thomas’ contract is €50m, and that figure for a player like him makes it a cheap profile. Let the season end and then we’ll see what happens.”

On May 20th, FootballGhana published an exclusive saying Manchester United are ‘ready to trigger’ the player’s ‘£43.5m release clause’ in the current market.

A little digging shows it’s not their only Thomas exclusive. Back on March 22nd (yes, the same day Marca’s report went out), they stated the 25 year old was set for ‘crunch’ talks with Atletico, with the clause again being mentioned. In that article, Manchester City and Inter Milan were linked.

Also on May 20th, Spain’s Cadena Cope reported Thomas’ agents are ‘negotiating his exit with clubs of the Premier League’.

It would appear clear that those who represent Thomas are keen to get that €50m figure out there. That’ll either be because they’re fishing for interest or pressuring Atletico into giving assurances, and likely offering a new contract with better wages and higher clause.

Manchester United claims have now emerged twice in Ghana in recent months, which would suggest someone there close to the player is pushing the story. Again, that could be for a new contract and better standing at Atletico or because the player genuinely fancies the move and there’s real interest.

Time should make it clearer.