LUCAS TORREIRA has told Arsenal he wants to stay with Fiorentina even though the Italians didn’t trigger their option to buy him.
The Uruguay international midfielder has just completed a successful season on loan at the Artemio Franchi stadium, helping the club to finish seventh in Serie A and qualify for the Europa Conference League.
Coach Vincenzo Italiano is keen to keep Torreira at Fiorentina but the option to sign him permanently for £12.5million expired on Tuesday.
Now Fiorentina are trying to negotiate Arsenal’s asking price down because they know he does not figure in Mikel Arteta’s plans and only has a year remaining on his £75,000-a-week Emirates contract.
Torreira told supporters: “My intention is to stay at Fiorentina, but the club will need to find an agreement with Arsenal.
“I am very happy in Italy and in Florence.”
But Torreira’s agent Pablo Bentancur is not optimistic and says: “It’s not over yet, but the chances of Lucas staying in Florence are very small.
“There is a contractual problem with Fiorentina and my priority is to find an agreement with them so he is not thinking about other teams for now.”
Torreira cost Arsenal £26m when he joined from Sampdoria in 2018 as one of Unai Emery’s first signings for the club.
But while he was a first team regular during Emery’s 18 months in charge, he was unable to impress new boss Arteta and has not played for Arsenal for two years.
He spent an unsuccessful season on loan at Atletico Madrid in 2020-21 and a much more productive time back in Italy with Fiorentina.
Arsenal have already made it clear that he has no future at the Emirates after recently handing his number 11 shirt to Gabriel Martinelli.
But now they need to sort out a transfer fee before his contract enters its final 12 months and his transfer value completely collapses.
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