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Diego Simeone has spoken directly with Lucas Torreira as Atletico Madrid plan to sign the midfielder on loan from Arsenal, according to reports in Spain.
Arsenal are looking to complete further sales before the end of the transfer window in order to fund moves for Atletico’s Thomas Partey and Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
The Gunners are open to offloading Torreira with the Uruguay international attracting interest from Fiorentina and Torino, whose head coach, Marco Giampaolo, worked with the midfielder at Sampdoria.
But according to AS, Atletico are also interested and have now opened talks with Arsenal to discuss a deal for Torreira.
The report claims that Atletico initially want to sign Torreira on loan, while Simeone has personally contacted the midfielder on several occasions in order to persuade him to move to Spain.
Torreira is currently out of favour at Arsenal as he has failed to make Mikel Arteta’s matchday squad for the first two Premier League games of the new season.
Arsenal have already offered Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette as part of a deal which would see Partey move to the Emirates Stadium.
But Atletico have turned down Arsenal’s bids this summer and are requesting that the Gunners meet Partey’s €50 million (£45.5m) release clause. AS report that Arsenal have not yet proposed a swap deal involving Torreira and Partey.
Meanwhile, Torino have ruled themselves out of the running to sign Torreira, despite Giampaolo being keen to work with the midfielder again.
‘The coach has had time to evaluate the squad at his disposal, we are content with what [Tomas] Rincon is doing, so a midfielder in that role is no longer necessarily a priority for us,’ Torino’s director, Davide Vagnati, told Sky Sport Italia on Sunday.
‘We discussed the new technical and tactical project, he is happy with the players and there is still time to the end of the transfer window, so we’ll see what happens then.’