Arsenal are reported to be unhappy with Atletico Madrid over their treatment of Lucas Torreira and amid claims from Spain the Gunners could recall the midfielder.
Torreira left Arsenal for Atletico on loan in the summer after two years in the Premier League. He effectively swapped places with Thomas Partey, even though both deals were separate.
However, Torreira has not had the impact expected of him in La Liga. He has started just two of Atletico’s first 14 league games.
It has led to speculation that Arsenal could cut short his stay in Spain. Mikel Arteta refused to comment on that possibility recently, and Torreira’s agent denied it, but it seems to be gathering pace.
Indeed, that speculation has snowballed somewhat amid claims from Italy that he could be loaned instead to Fiorentina.
Wherever his future lies, it seems the Gunners are less than impressed with Atletico’s treatment of Torreira.
The Gunners’ decision to activate Partey’s exit clause with hours left in the window left Atletico with no time to find a replacement. While Torreira’s move did go through, it all left a sour taste in Diego Simeone’s mouth.
Despite making 11 appearances for Los Rojiblancos, Torreira’s game-time actually only totals 322 minutes. Indeed, Libertad Digital claims Atlético are ‘directly devaluing the player on purpose’ because they refused to insert a purchase option in the loan deal.
There are also accusations that Atletico are looking to punish Arsenal for signing Partey by activating his release clause with LaLiga. The Gunners did this without informing the Spanish side first.
While the ‘playing dirty’ approach cannot be substantiated, the report states Atletico do firmly deny the allegations. Indeed, they have argued that Torreira’s lack of playing time is simply due to the team currently playing well without him as a regular. As the side currently two points clear at the top of LaLiga, they have a good case.
Torreira’s agents are refusing to comment on whether the loan can be ‘broken’ by Arsenal this month. However, the report is adamant that is something the Gunners are seriously considering.
Dani Ceballos drops Arsenal exit hint
Dani Ceballos, meanwhile, has stated he will be exiting the Emirates once his deal expires this summer.
Having signed on loan for a second term, Ceballos says he will not be staying on for a third stint.
Instead, the 24-year-old plans to crack the first team at parent club Real Madrid.
Speaking to Cadena SER, Ceballos said: “A third year on loan? No, my goal is to return to Real Madrid and be important at the best club in the world.
“I believe that one day I will come back. I hope to be able to return the affection that the fans showed me.
“For various reasons, I didn’t leave the club in the best manner.”