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Arsenal are reportedly in talks with Italian outfit Sampdoria regarding a deal for midfielder Lucas Torreira, although it’s said the Gunners’ spending limitations mean they may struggle to pay his release clause in one go.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail wrote that Arsenal are in negotiations to recruit the Uruguay international—who’s at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia—but may only be able to afford his exit clause in installments.
Sampdoria sporting director Carlo Osti recently spoke to Rai Sport (h/t Football Italia), confirming Torreira’s clause and appearing adamant the club receive that fee: “Torreira has a €25 million (£22 million) release clause, everyone knows that. Anyone who wants him will have to pay that.”
Italian football writer David Amoyal recently confirmed as much, meaning the north Londoners risk losing out to a competitor who’s more willing to meet the clause in one go:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
@Stevenmartin_0 @GRomaTML almost all exit clauses, including Torreira’s, have to be paid in one installment- that is a hurdle for many clubs
Jones mentioned the recent free signing of Stephan Lichtsteiner and an agreed deal to sign defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, said to cost around £16 million, which will be confirmed in July.
Those seem like modest purchases for the north Londoners, although it’s likely that missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification for the second season running has limited their spending scope.
That being said, defensive midfield is one area of their squad that’s needed investment for some time now, with Granit Xhaka not solving the engine-room issue as some might have hoped after his arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.
Sports writers Simon Collings and James Dall have been among those to express their confusion in recent times as to why Arsenal have been so slow to reinforce a key part of their lineup:
Simon Collings @sr_collings
For the 10th year running, I reckon Arsenal need to target a new goalkeeper, centre-back and holding midfielder this summer.
James Dall @JamesDall_
ARSENAL NEED A GOOD DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED IN SO LONG
Napoli and Dortmund are mentioned by Football Italia as two of the other teams said to be tracking Torreira, each of whom can offer Champions League football and could be more prepared to pay his release fee off.
One of the bigger concerns for Arsenal boss Unai Emery is that Torreira is quite short at only 5’6″, although that didn’t inhibit his ability to win back possession for his side last term, per OptaPaolo:
296 – Lucas Torreira made the most recoveries (296) among the outfield players in Serie A in the 2017-18 campaign. Worker. https://t.co/NfrVhQuuDl
Torreira has a chance of starting in Uruguay’s midfield at the World Cup after only earning his senior international debut in March, although it may be better for Arsenal’s transfer hopes if he didn’t make their XI.
The 22-year-old already drew much attention during his second successive season in Serie A, and a lower profile in Russia would likely mean the player doesn’t encourage competition for his signature this summer.