Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has some work to do in the summer transfer window, but he could end up missing out on £15m which might have been put towards new signings
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Arsenal look set to miss out on a £15million windfall, with Fiorentina set to pass on the opportunity to sign on-loan midfielder Lucas Torreira.
The Uruguay international is under contract with the Gunners until 2023, and has seen the funny side after losing his No.11 shirt to Gabriel Martinelli for next term. After an impressive first half of the season, there had been suggestions he might be used in a part-exchange deal for January transfer target Dusan Vlahovic, only for the striker to leave Florence to join Juventus.
Vincenzo Italiano’s side reportedly had an option to make the loan deal permanent, and all the pieces appeared to be in place. However, the 26-year-old has featured a little less in recent weeks and all signs point towards him returning to north London.
According to a number of sources in Italy, an agreement had been reached with Torreira’s agent but a deal will not go through. There have been suggestions the Viola attempted to secure a discount on both transfer fee and salary.
Torreira has started just two of Fiorentina’s last six games, completing 90 minutes on only one occasion. Journalist Matteo Moretto reports that his brief run-out against Juventus on Saturday was “so as not to activate an economic bonus”.
The former Sampdoria man has five goals to his name this season – more than he managed across two seasons with Arsenal’s first team – and two assists. Even if Fiorentina are out of the running, there is expected to be interest from other parties, though it’s unclear how much the Gunners will be able to recoup for a player who cost them a reported £26m back in 2018.
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Arsenal’s reliance on Thomas Partey this season might tell manager Mikel Arteta he needs more bodies in the middle of the park, but there’s no guarantee Torreira would be that man. Arsenal’s manager used him sparingly in the 2019-20 season, in part due to injury before loaning him out both last term (to Atletico Madrid) and this.
The Gunners may still prefer to cash in on the South American and use the funds to make much-needed investments in attack. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract at the end of the season, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left midway through the current campaign, and the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been linked.
Nicolas Pepe could also be on the move come the summer, with the club record signing finding himself out of favour. Potential replacements for the Ivorian include Luis Sinisterra, who has hinted that he could leave Feyenoord at the end of this season.