One of the most gratifying things in soccer blogging is when a transfer rumor proves to be true. It doesn’t happen often - there are dozens of rumors every single transfer season, and every season maybe two of them are actually fire to go with the incessant amounts of smoke.
Which brings me to Lucas Torreira. As we talked about earlier, there have been a lot of rumors swirling about the possibility of bringing the Sampdoria midfielder to London, but nobody was really sure if those rumors had any actual substance or were just more of the same pre-world-cup-we-have-clicks-to-earn stuff that we’ve seen a lot of in the last couple weeks. But this one actually turns out to be a Thing That Is Probably Happening, according to David Ornstein:
As widely reported Arsenal in talks to sign Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira. No agreement but central midfield a priority & 22yo Uruguay int’l seen as ideal fit technically + financially. #AFC also want a GK after defensive signings of Lichtsteiner & Sokratis (announced July)— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) June 12, 2018
Ornstein is as close to an insider as we have, and he also tends to be a bit on the conservative side, so if he’s reporting that Arsenal are “in talks”, you can assume it’s virtually done. And hey, right on cue, look at that! Confirmation that it is, in fact, mostly done. From multiple places. The club and player are currently discussing personal terms, having agreed on a transfer fee estimated to be as high as £26 million (€30 million). The negotiations center on Arsenal’s desire to pay that fee to Sampdoria over time rather than all at once, but assuming that is acceptable, Arsenal are ready to offer Torreira a five year contract.
Torreira is a solid pickup - a defensive midfielder who can also score a bit, who is all of 22 years old. It’s far too early to judge Ivan Gazidis and Unai Emery’s transfer season as a whole, but this is a really big step towards that judgment being “hey this has been a pretty good summer”. Keep it up, Transfer Squad.