Lucas Torreira is “very close to Atletico Madrid” according to ESPN Uruguay. The arsenal Midfielder has been in the shop window since the start of the transfer window and until recently it looked like he was likely to head to Italy Turin or Fiorentina. But last week there were reports that Atleti head coach Diego Simeone had contacted Torreira to express his interest in securing his services.
ESPN cited “a source close to the player” for its report. So it could be that “very close” is an agreement on personal terms. It is not clear that there was any contact between Arsenal and Atleti via Torreira. Given the Gunners’ interest in Thomas Partey, I would assume that the two clubs have been in contact, at least recently. Torreira’s name may have appeared.
Moving to a team trained by Simeone could be exactly what Torreira needs to get things going again. He’s got into the pecking order at Arsenal because he doesn’t have the skills to play on the ball Mikel ArtetaDouble tenon. He was more of a solo player in Italy and perhaps the more defensive Simeone could find a way to capitalize on Torreira’s defensive strengths.
The problem is that Atleti reportedly wants Torreira to get a no-purchase loan, which isn’t such an attractive option for Arsenal. Torreira doesn’t have massive wages, so this wouldn’t be a huge cost saving (as was the mutual termination of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s contract), and the Gunners need the money a full sale would generate. Torreira would likely command somewhere in the £ 20-25million range which, when combined with the money from the Emi Martinez sale and everything the club has on hand, could be enough to take a bigger step towards reinforcing the midfield .