Out-of-favor Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has admitted that he has held talks with AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho, confirming that he could very well return to Italy this summer. The Uruguayan has expressed words of admiration for the 2022 UEFA Europa Conference League-winning coach.
The Gunners signed Torreira from Sampdoria in 2018 for €28.6 million. He impressed onlookers with his commanding midfield play in his debut season at the Emirates Stadium. But things soon took a turn for the worse.
Following a string of unconvincing displays in the 2019-20 campaign, he was loaned out to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2020. Upon his return to Arsenal at the start of last season, he was loaned out again, this time to Serie A outfit Fiorentina.
Torreira performed admirably in the 2021-22 campaign for Fiorentina, recording five goals and two assists in 35 matches in all competitions.The Serie A outfit were expected to make his stay permanent. But Fiorentina passed on the offer after haggling to lower the fee (according to the Mirror), causing Torreira to return and take part in Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.
The Uruguayan is currently with Arteta’s squad, but his permanent return to Italy could still be very much on the cards. Speaking to Uruguayan media (via another Mirror report), Torreira confirmed holding talks with Roma boss Mourinho, whom he admires.
“Roma? Yes, there is a possibility. I spoke to Mourinho a while ago. I admire him as a coach. It's an opportunity that tempts me a lot, but it's not easy.”
Since joining Arsenal four years back, Torreira has appeared in 89 matches for the Gunners, recording four goals and six assists across competitions.
Arsenal reject Lucas Torreira could thrive at Roma
Arteta may not have Torreira in his plans, but the 26-year-old possesses the quality to make a name for himself at a renowned European club. Roma could very well be the club where he will thrive.
Mourinho has always preferred strong, technically astute midfielders. Case in point being his admiration for former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic. Torreira effortlessly ticks both boxes. He is also incredibly industrious and knows the league very well.
Across 35 games last season, the 26-year-old averaged 1.2 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 0.7 key passes per game.
AS Roma have been active in the transfer market. They have already signed the likes of Nemanja Matic and Zeki Celik and could also add Torreira to their ranks.
The former Sampdoria man sees his contract with the Gunners expire next year (June 2023) and is currently valued at €20 million (via Transfermarkt).