Lucas Torreira almost joined Napoli in the summer according to his father (Getty Images)Lucas Torreira’s father has revealed that his son was close to joining Napoli last summer only to end up signing for Arsenal instead.
Arsenal will face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals next month and the Uruguayan is likely to be a prominent player in the tie having emerged as a key player for Unai Emery’s side since making a £22m move from Sampdoria after the World Cup.
Torreira’s all-action displays in the middle of Arsenal’s midfield has endeared him to the club’s supporters while he has also popped up with the odd important goal including in the 4-2 win over Spurs in the north London derby back in December.
However, according to his dad Ricardo, he almost stayed in Italy rather than moving to London as a deal with Napoli was ‘very close’.
Speaking to Radio Marte, Torreira senior said: ‘It’s true, Lucas was very close to Napoli. There were negotiations with Napoli, but something strange happened, and you know in the transfer market things can change from one moment to the next.
‘Negotiations are long and complicated processes, so it can happen than they don’t go the way we expected. There was this opportunity to go to England and Lucas took it, so I have to say he is happy at Arsenal.
‘Obviously, Lucas is very fond of Italian football, where he grew up, and might return to Italy in future. You can never say never, so it’s possible he could come back to this marvellous country and, why not to Napoli or another club that makes an offer?’
Torreira started his professional career in Italy with Pescara whom he joined from Montevideo Wanderers in his homeland before moving to Sampdoria in 2015. The 23-year-old spent a season on loan at Pescara before establishing himself at Sampdoria in the 2016-17 season.
Napoli are regarded as slight favourites to triumph over Arsenal in the Europa League quarter-finals after dropping down from the Champions League while they are currently second only to Juventus in the Serie A table.
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