Atletico Madrid are reportedly closing in on a season-long loan for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira – but the deal doesn’t include Thomas Partey.
Partey has been near the top of Mikel Arteta’s transfer priorities all summer, but Atleti are adamant they won’t sell their star midfielder unless his £45million release clause is met.
However, the La Liga side have this week emerged as front-runners to sign Torreira, and there was hope the Uruguayan could be used as a makeweight in a bid to bring Partey to the Emirates.
Torreira is surplus to requirements at Arsenal, and the former Sampdoria player had looked set for a return to Serie A until Los Rojiblancos made their move.
But in a blow to the Gunners’ transfer hopes, Partey is not part of the negotiations over Torreira, according to the Evening Standard.
The publication reports that Atletico head coach Diego Simeone is a big fan of Torreira and wants to take him to the Wanda Metropolitano.
It is also claimed that new Atleti signing Luis Suarez also admires the midfielder, having recommended his compatriot to Arsenal’s former head of football Raul Sanhelli in 2018.
However, the deal is being held up because the Spanish side want to take Torreira on loan without an obligation to buy, while Arsenal are keen to offload the 24-year-old and want to make a permanent deal compulsory.
Atletico also want to get midfielder Hector Herrera off their wage bill in the coming days, which could further delay the transfer.
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The Gunners will be keen to get a deal done, as the loan fee for Torreira and the money saved on his salary will be a boost to Arteta’s transfer kitty as the Gunners target both Partey and Lyon attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar.
Torreira has also been linked with Fiorentina, Roma and Torino, although Atletico have surged to the front of the queue in recent days.