Lucas Torreira Says He's 'Happy to Be Part of the Arsenal' Amid AC Milan Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MAY 29:  Lucas Torreira of Arsenal acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Arsenal need not fear Lucas Torreira during this summer's transfer window, at least based on the midfielder's words about rumours linking him with AC Milan.

Torreira is on international duty with Uruguay at the 2019 Copa America, but he took time to address speculation about his future, per Metro: "Nobody from AC Milan has got in touch with me; today I'm in the Premier and happy to be part of the Arsenal. 'It cost me the adaptation, it's not easy, but I only think about that team. I'm happy to be there."

Torreira's words will be welcomed by the Gunners, who are not willing to sell the player they signed from Sampdoria last summer, according to BBC Sport's David Ornstein:

While Ornstein doesn't believe Milan will make Torreira a priority, Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Metro) outlined the Rossoneri's intention to do just that.

The Italian publication noted how Milan are prepared to offer midfielder Franck Kessie and left-back Ricardo Rodriguez to sweeten the pot. It's a potential swap deal Arsenal would surely find difficult to resist.

Kessie would give the Gunners an ideal replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who is joining Milan's Serie A rivals Juventus on a free transfer this summer. Kessie has the engine and eye for goal Ramsey possessed.

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Meanwhile, Rodriguez is a natural wing-back who would suit the 3-5-2 formation Arsenal head coach Unai Emery deploys. Emery loves to get width from overlapping full-backs and Switzerland international Rodriguez is an ideal fit.

Acquiring Rodriguez would be a cheaper alternative than signing Kieran Tierney from Celtic. The Gunners are expected to make an "improved offer" after seeing a bid of £15 million rejected, per Michael Grant of The Times.

Grant noted how it will likely take "around £25 million" to bring Tierney to north London. Such a fee would make a significant dent in a transfer budget believed to be worth £45 million.

Selling Torreira would help boost the funds available to Emery, even if it would also mean losing a versatile presence at the heart of midfield. Torreira quickly became a hit among Arsenal fans thanks to being tenacious enough to scrap for possession, but forward-thinking enough to also contribute in attacking areas.

The 23-year-old eventually became a fixture alongside Granit Xhaka in Emery's best XI. However, his first season in England wasn't without its problems.

Earlier this month, he spoke to Ovacion (h/t Duncan Wright of The Sun) and expressed his challenge learning a new language and dealing with the climate.

Arsenal are facing a difficult choice with Torreira. He is one of the few marketable assets who could be used to increase transfer funds, yet he's also a key part of the more high-energy, pressing game Emery has struggled to implement since succeeding Arsene Wenger in the dugout last summer.

A swap deal with Milan may be best for both parties. The Gunners cannot let Torreira go without securing a replacement or at least improving their options at other positions of weakness.

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