Premier League • England

Lucas Torreira at Arsenal crossroads as reasons emerge for Fiorentina impasse

Lucas Torreira Fiorentina 2022 TEAMtalk1

Lucas Torreira reportedly failed to secure a permanent move to Fiorentina because the Italian club refused to pay Arsenal and the player the agreed amount.

The 26-year-old spent the entire 2021-2022 campaign on loan with I Viola after falling out of favour at the Emirates. And it was a successful stint for the Uruguay international, with 26 starts among 31 Serie A appearances. He chipped in with five goals and impressed manager Vincenzo Italiano.

The former Sampdoria man won a penalty in Fiorentina’s 2-0 final-day victory over Juventus. That result secured seventh place and a spot in the Europa Conference League for the Stadio Artemio Franchi side.

It was thought that he had done enough to earn a permanent move to Italy. And reports claimed that a £12m fee had been agreed between the clubs involved.

There were said to be problems over his wages and now his agent, Oscar Bentancourt, has lifted the lid on the issues thwarting the deal.

“The basic problem is that Lucas earned a higher salary at Arsenal than he took in Florence,” he told Fiorentina News. “When we agreed on the €1.5 million loan with Arsenal last summer, I got from the English club that Fiorentina would not pay that money if Lucas played at least 25 games.

“With this, we set the option-to-buy at €15 million, payable in 6 instalments of €2.5m by 2025.

“We had agreed on a (player) contract with Fiorentina for the coming seasons of €2.7 million net a year. Fiorentina, however, now wanted to lower both his salary and the cost of the transfer.

“We couldn’t accept, and Arsenal didn’t accept either. Now Lucas has a contract with the Gunners until June 30, 2023.”

Torreira likely to leave Arsenal

Torreira signed for the Gunners in the summer of 2018, with the north Londoners paying Sampdoria around £26m.

The South American made a decent impact during his first two seasons at the Emirates, with 63 outings and 41 starts. But he was loaned to Atletico Madrid for the 2020-2021 campaign before last summer’s switch to Florence.

It seems likely that the Fray Bentos-born schemer will return to Arsenal. But, with Mikel Arteta guiding his charges to fifth spot in the table and new faces expected in the off-season, he looks set to depart.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Whether that is another loan or a permanent move only time will tell. But his exceptional season for Fiorentina means there will plenty of suitors ready to take a punt.

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