Arsenal star Lucas Torreira ‘very close’ to joining Atletico after Thomas Partey decision

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is reportedly very close to completing a move to Atletico Madrid. Atletico’s interest in Torreira emerged last week and they now appear to be leading the way for the 24-year-old’s signature ahead of Serie A clubs Torino and Fiorentina.

ESPN Uruguay say negotiations between Torreira, Atletico and Arsenal are at an advanced stage.

Arsenal were interested in facilitating a player-plus-cash deal involving Torreira for Atleti midfielder Thomas Partey.

But reports elsewhere say the La Liga side are only interested in signing Torreira on loan, scuppering chances of a swap.

Torreira became an immediate favourite with Arsenal supporters following his £26million move to the club from Sampdoria in 2018.

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But the Uruguay international has found game time hard to come by under Mikel Arteta.

Arteta has preferred a central midfield partnership of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos, with Torreira not even making the squad for the first two Premier League games of the season.

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Letting Torreira leave would leave Arsenal short of midfield options though and Arteta is keen on adding in that department.

Partey has been linked with Arsenal throughout the summer window but the Gunners have not been prepared to pay his £45m release clause.

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Arteta is also interested in signing Lyon star Houssem Aouar, with reports claiming the Frenchman is now the priority target.

Arteta stated his confidence in Xhaka and Ceballos after the unconvincing win over West Ham on Saturday.

But the former captain did not rule out any further additions in this window.

“I think they’ve been really good since I joined the club,” Arteta said.

“Not only then but also this season, he deserved to play again today but I just wanted to rotate.

“I thought it was a game where we were going to attack the spaces and the way they defended, we wanted to create some situations with Dani there but if we can strengthen the team then we’re going to try and do that.

“Until the market is gone, everything is still open.

“Depending on what happens with some other players… as I say again, we are open to discussions, the market can surprise us.”

Arsenal announced the signing of goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson on Monday evening for a fee of around £1.5m.

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