We certainly could have, but why give Atletico a head start on trying to change Partey’s mind? We were working against the clock here, even though it looks like Partey has had his heart set on this move for a while it would have been a very human reaction to have some doubts creep in after Simeone or others start reaching out at the last minute. All they would have had to do is muck it up enough in his mind to hesitate until the end of the day and they get him to stay, even if he would have woken up today wanting the move again.
Atletico are the ones who misjudged this. They thought as long they could muck up our Torreira sale and refuse to negotiate on alternative transfer structures, that we wouldn’t be able to afford the release clause. They were wrong about that. Let’s not pretend that getting a call 3 hours earlier yesterday would have meant Atletico wasn’t complaining about this deal today anyways. They’re mad because they didn’t see it coming. That should make us extremely happy not ashamed.