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Arsenal’s Torreira set for shock switch to Milan

Gunners’ tough-tackling midfielder to leave after just one season at the Emirates

28 June, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Lucas Torreira joined Arsenal from Sampdoria in a £23m deal last summer

LUCAS Torreira could be heading for the Emirates exit after just one season with Arsenal.

After weeks of speculation, it emerged yesterday (Thursday) that AC Milan are finally preparing to make an official bid to take the midfielder on loan, with a view to a permanent transfer.

The Serie A club will reportedly pay in the region of £4.5million for a two-season loan, and then fork out an additional fee of around £25m to make the move long-term.

Earlier this week Torreira, who joined the Gunners from Sampdoria in a £23m deal last summer and enjoyed an impressive debut campaign in England, broke his silence surrounding a possible move to the San Siro, seemingly reassuring Arsenal fans that he is “happy” in north London.

Speaking ahead of his nation’s Copa America quarter-final against Peru this Saturday, the tough-tackling 23-year-old said: “Nobody from AC Milan has got in touch with me.

“Today I’m in the Premier League and happy to be part of Arsenal. Adapting was not easy, but I only think about the team. I’m happy to be there.”

Now, however, it seems that his remarks were little more than a come-and-get-me plea, and that Torreira is edging closer to being reunited with his ex-Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo, unveiled as the new Milan manager earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas has urged manager Unai Emery to sign two defenders as quickly as possible.

The Gunners are chasing Ligue 1 centre-back William Saliba and Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney, but progress is going painfully slowly.

Reflecting on what his old club needs to do this summer, Nicholas told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast: “Immediately, two centre-backs. They need a bit of pace, they’ve never really had the pace.

“The guy who had pace was Laurent Koscielny, but he kind of lost his pace two, three seasons ago under Arsene Wenger.

“It was through the injuries, it wasn’t the lad’s fault, but the injuries caught up with him.

“Then, after that, we had to go round about the houses to accept that Shkodran Mustafi didn’t fit in. Sokratis, in my opinion, is a strong defender, but he plays solo, and Arsenal under Emery have to be a unit, they have to get the defensive structure right.

“Nacho Monreal has actually done OK for Arsenal, considering what his limitations were.

“He was a left-back, he was never a centre-back, but he had to play there. That always told me the reality was that Arsenal’s big, big problem is centre-backs, and they need two centre-backs in my opinion.”

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