Arsenal have confirmed that Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira has joined Turkish side Galatasaray for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £7.5m.
The move ends a summer of speculation surrounding the midfielder, who has been trying to find a new club all summer, after being deemed surplus to requirements by manager Mikel Arteta, despite being involved in the club’s USA tour.
There was an initial hold-up in the arrangement as Torreira and his agent, Pablo Bentancur, were holding out for a potential move to Valencia, where Torreira would play under Gennaro Gattuso, however, no such bid was forthcoming.
It was initially thought that Torreira would join Serie A side Fiorentina on a permanent basis. Torreira spent last season on loan with the club and was considered to be one of the brightest talents in the side.
Fiorentina had a purchase option included in the deal of around £11m, and agreed a contract with Torreira and his agent.
Despite this, Fiorentina tried to negotiate the purchase option down, which Arsenal flatly refused and also attempted to re-negotiate the terms of Torreira’s contract, which was rejected by the player and his agent.
A move back to former club Sampdoria was on the cards, with the Italian side even matching Galatasaray’s offer, however, they were unable to guarantee him the same salary.
It brings an end to what has been a fairly excruciating relationship for both the club at the player.
Despite being tipped for a bright future at the Emirates Stadium, Torreira seemed to fall apart after an impressive debut season.
While initially deployed as the club’s long-sought-after central defensive midfielder, Torreira was soon asked to plug the gap of a number 8 from the departing Aaron Ramsey, by Unai Emery.
Torreira was ill-suited to the role and soon fell out of favour. After Emery was dismissed by the club, Torreira seemed unable to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans either.
It is thought that while Arteta thought highly of Torreira’s physicality, his technical ability was not suited to the team and was subsequently frozen out.
A loan to Atlético Madrid the following season looked as though it could be the making of him, but Atlético ultimately opted against signing Torreira permanently.
Torreira has also not helped matters for the club. The player has turned down potentially lucrative moves on several occasions, most notably to AC Milan, which has somewhat lowered Arsenal’s standing in negotiations as they are unable to convince the player to join the club that would pay the highest.
Indeed, it seems as though Torreira’s wage demands have often proved the most prohibitive to a sale.
For many fans, it will be a shame to see such a highly-promising player fail to meet the grade, but Torreira will be fondly remembered for some crucial goals against Liverpool and Huddersfield, but none more so than his incredible bottom-corner finish at home to Tottenham in the north London derby.
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