Arsenal have reportedly agreed to sell midfielder Lucas Torreira – but Mikel Arteta could be about to immediately upgrade on the Uruguayan. Torino are said to have agreed to pay €24million (£22m) for Torreira, with the 24-year-old initially joining the Serie A club on loan. But if Arsenal can bring in Thomas Partey, then it would be a smart piece of business from Mikel Arteta.
Torreira became an immediate favourite with supporters following his move to Arsenal in the summer of 2018.
Fans believed they had finally found the defensive midfielder they have been craving for since the departure of Invincible Gilberto Silva in 2008.
But he fell out of favour at the start of last season under Unai Emery and has struggled to regain a regular spot in the side since.
The break caused by the coronavirus pandemic helped Torreira, who had time to recover from a fractured ankle he suffered in March.
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However, he once again found himself on the sidelines after lockdown, with Mikel Arteta preferring a midfield partnership of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka.
Ceballos has once again joined on loan from Real Madrid but the decision to start Mohamed Elneny ahead of Torreira against Fulham on Saturday was the clearest message yet that he is not a big part of Arteta’s plans going forward.
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Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey has been a target for the Gunners throughout the summer window.
Reports claim the 27-year-old wants to join Arsenal but his asking price is proving a problem.
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Partey has a £45m release clause in his contract and Atletico are not willing to let him leave for anything less than that.
But the sale of Torreira and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who is set to join Aston Villa for £20m, will all but raise the funds Arsenal need for the Ghana international.
Partey has a wealth of experience under his belt at Atletico, having played 185 times under Diego Simeone.
He would be a different type of signing to another player Arsenal have been linked with in Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
But Premier League commentator Ian Darke believes Arteta needs Partey more than the creative Aouar.
“I think they need a little bit of steel in the middle of the pitch, so I think Partey would be a very good signing for Arsenal,” Darke told ESPN FC.
“I know they’re very keen, but they can’t seem to get that deal done.
“They’ve got Ceballos back of course from Real Madrid, and he did well in the back end of last season, but in a more creative way.
“Both are good players, but I think of the two, I’d say Partey.”
Partey would be a definite upgrade on Torreira, giving Arsenal a better chance of breaking back into the top four this season.
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