Mounting reports stemming from the Italian media over the last 48 hours have suggested that Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira could join AC Milan this summer.
23-year-old holding midfielder Torreira made the move to the Emirates last summer from Serie A outfit Sampdoria, for a fee in the region of £25 million.
After being slowly introduced to English football by Unai Emery, the Uruguayan quickly went on to establish himself as a vital cog in Arsenal’s engine room.
And Torreira’s tidy distribution, discipline, but more than anything, his tenacious attitude and bite in the tackle, quickly saw the diminutive South American emerge as a fan favourite in north London.
The second-half of the season did see Torreira’s effectiveness begin to wane, though this appeared more a result of general fatigue and adapting to the rigours of Premier League football than anything else.
All told, he went on to rack up 49 appearances across all competitions, even chipping in with a pair of goals and 3 assists.
‘Better in Italy’
However, despite his importance to the Gunners’ fortunes, and the fact that he has only spent a solitary season in north London, Torreira has been hotly-tipped for an Arsenal exit of late.
Such rumours come on the back of the midfielder admitting last week that he is finding it difficult to adapt to life in England.
Speaking in an interview with Uruguayan outlet Ovacion Digital, Torreira explained:
‘I don’t know if there are many things that I enjoy.’
‘I think it was better in Italy. England is a totally different world, a very large country.’
‘The language [barrier] has stopped me. (Not being able) to relate with my team-mates and with the people. It is very difficult when you can’t have dialogue.’
‘And so is the climate. You go out in the morning and it is cloudy. You arrive late to your home and it is cloudy.’
AC Milan links
And the South American’s honesty regarding his Premier League struggles has since seen one club in particular widely-tipped as a potential exit route.
The outfit in question are Serie A giants AC Milan.
Marco Giampaolo, who previously managed Torreira during the pair’s time together at Sampdoria, was named the new Rossoneri boss last week.
And, when recently drawn on the claims that Giampaolo is keen on a reunion with his client at the San Siro this summer, Torreira’s agent, Pablo Bentancurt, did little to play down such a possibility:
‘I know nothing about the Rossoneri’s interest. No one contacted me. I have learned of this possibility through the press.’
‘If Giampaolo’s call could be something special for Lucas? Yes, clearly.’
Torreira eyeing exit
And if Italian reports over the last 48 hours are anything to go by, then Torreira swapping the Emirates for the San Siro this summer may not be as far-fetched as it first appeared.
First, SportMediaSet yesterday claimed that negotiations between Arsenal and Milan had been opened.
A two-year loan with option to buy, coming to a total cost of around 38 million Euro, was reportedly tabled by Milan.
Arsenal, though, have demanded that the purchase option be made obligatory.
And such claims have since been followed by another update in Italy today.
Alfredo Pedulla of SportItalia has definitively stated that Torreira has set his sights on departing Arsenal.
The midfielder is said to have informed the Gunners of as much, with Torreira’s heart set on joining Milan.
Lucas Torreira has told Arsenal he wants to leave after the club received an opening offer from AC Milan [Sportitalia] pic.twitter.com/gEd0R4J9HX
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) June 24, 2019
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) June 24, 2019
Crucially, however, it is added that Arsenal are in no way prepared to part with their midfield general after just one season.