Lucas Torreira Refuses to Be Drawn on Transfer Speculation But Leaves Door Open to Arsenal Exit

​Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has insisted he cannot talk about his future as he does not want to disrespect the Gunners, but left the door open to a potential move away during the January transfer window.

Torreira has started just four of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season and hasn’t complete 90 minutes in any of those games, prompting rumours that he could look for a move away in January.

Lucas Torreira

Speaking on ​Sport 890’s Tiempo de Fútbol, Torreira insisted that he is only focused on performing for ​Arsenal, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a move away from the club.

“There is always talk about another team, but I want to be honest,” he said. “I am not able to talk to another team or speak about another team. I would be disrespecting the team and the entire institution.

“Arsenal, from the first moment I arrived, showed me a lot of love and I really love them. I also have a good relationship with the fans.

Lucas Torreira

“Now, Arsenal needs me to be focused. I can’t start talking about another team. I need to be focused, and when the transfer window arrives, we’ll see what happens.”

His agent recently confirmed that Torreira is not “​at ease” at the Emirates anymore, and he has been tipped to pursue a move to the ​Serie A. ​AC Milan were keen during the summer, while ​Napoli are also thought to be interested in striking a deal.

The speculation surrounding Torreira is just one of several concerns for Arsenal this season. The Gunners have fallen to sixth in the ​Premier League, and they now sit eight points behind in the race for the top four.

Unai Emery,Lucas Torreira

“The results are not very positive lately, and we are moving away from the ​Champions League, which is one of the goals for this season,” Torreira confessed.

“The important thing to remember is that the season is long and there is still a long way to go. We have to make up the difference to the top teams.”


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Sokratis Admits Arsenal Are Lacking Confidence Following Wretched Run of Results

​Arsenal defender Sokratis has conceded that the squad are devoid of confidence as the pressure mounts on Unai Emery’s side to turn their league form around.

The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League, eight points off fourth place, and uninspiring performances such as the 2-2 draws away to Watford and at home to Crystal Palace, have led to fingers being pointed at the team. 

Sokratis Papastathopoulos,Wilfried Zaha

Even in their last outing, Emery’s charges were lacklustre, losing 2-0 away to Leicester, but they now face two winnable games against Southampton at home andNorwich away.

And Sokratis believes that a couple of good performances is all that is required to get Arsenal’s star names firing again and put them back in the race for a ​Champions League spot.

“The team needs confidence and calm to show the quality we have,” he told ​Arsenal Player.

“I think we can get [into the top four] because if we find one or two games where we can play very good and have a good result, after the team will take confidence and after that we have the quality. The quality is here but I think we need confidence.”

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The Greek centre-half admitted that this season has been tough but is adamant that ​Arsenal have enough quality in the side to rectify their shaky start and come good in the second half of the campaign.

“It is a season that has a difficult moment, but we have still a lot of time and we need to improve, we need to play better and of course we have the time to do it,” he said.

“We also have the quality to do it. When the results are going good, it is of course very good for the team [that the players are all close] because it gives us confidence.”

Arsenal are without a win in four games in all competitions, their last victory coming just shy of a month ago when they won 3-2 against Vitória at home in the Europa League.

Nicolas Pepe

The last time they claimed three points in the ​Premier League was at the beginning of October when they beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates, courtesy of a David Luiz header.

But even their win against the Cherries had its nervy moments, Sokratis and his teammates will be hoping for a far more comfortable afternoon when they entertain ​Southampton on Saturday.

Gunners fans will expect nothing less than three points against a struggling Saints side who currently languish one point of the foot of the table and who haven’t tasted victory in the league since September.

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6 Things to Know About Arsenal, Real Madrid & Barcelona Target Reinier Jesus

Flamengo star Reinier Jesus has quickly forged a reputation as one of the most exciting young talents in world football, following a fine start to his professional career.

As a result, the 17-year-old has attracted interest from a number of top European clubs, who have been keen to keep an eye on his progression. 


Arsenal are now the latest team to enter the race to land the teenage sensation, with the club ​reportedly contacting the player’s father in a bid to steal a march on the other suitors. 

With Reinier continuing to attract the attention of clubs from around Europe, we take a look at six things that you may not yet know about the attacking midfielder. 


He’s Been Dubbed the ‘Next Kaka’

Ricardo Kaká - Soccer Player

Kaka was quite some player, wasn’t he?

Well, Reinier has been likened to his fellow Brazilian, with the youngster adopting a similar style of play. His footwork is astonishing, constantly dancing past defenders with consummate ease. In his short career to date, teams have recognised his abilities and reacted by putting more than one player on him to nullify his threat.

However, they didn’t realise that this simply delayed the inevitable. His speed of play and technical ability would leave defenders clueless in their efforts to stop him.

Standing at 6’1, Reinier also has the physical ability and prowess that makes him a nightmare to defend against. 


He’s Been Linked With a Whole Host of Clubs – For Some Time


As previously mentioned, the Flamengo youngster’s talents certainly haven’t gone unnoticed. Milan, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid were all linked with the player in the summer, but ​it appeared as though he would be heading to Everton. A deal never materialised, however.

Nonetheless, clubs have continued to pursue him and it was ​recently reported that Atletico were in ‘advanced talks’ to sign the midfielder. And the ​latest development is that ​Arsenal have entered the race while ​Barcelona are also closely monitoring him.

Reinier recently signed a new contract until 2024, but this has seen ​his release clause halved from €70m to just €35m – making him an even more attractive proposition for the interested parties. 


He’s Settled Quickly in the First Team


Reinier made his debut for Flamengo in their crucial Copa Libertadores second-leg comeback against Emelec at the beginning of August, playing the final 20 minutes before making his league debut against Bahia. 

On his full debut, he scored once and provided one assist against Avai. His goal was simply delightful, controlling the ball on his chest before playing a neat one-two before firing home. 

The prospect has gone on to net four times from 12 appearances in the league so far. These stats are made all the more impressive considering the fact that he has only played the full 90 minutes on three occasions. 


Zinedine Zidane Is His Idol

Zinedine Zidane

The midfielder has been likened to Kaka, but in fact, his role model and idol is ​Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane. 

“I’m heavily inspired by [Zinedine] Zidane,” he once told interviewers, as quoted by ​the Sun. 

“I’ve watched a lot of videos on the internet of him playing. I’m always trying to execute plays like he did.”

Reinier is more than aware of the development of the likes of Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. and with Real keeping an eye on the player’s progression, he may just relish the opportunity to play under his idol. Only time will tell. 


He Grew Up in a Footballing Family 

Reinier

Reinier is the son of world futsal champion Mauro Brasília. His father thrived in the fast paced and intense game, allowing him to help Reinier develop his skills growing up.

The results are remarkable, with the in-demand youngster now thriving thanks to his sensational ability to weave in and out of opposition players, with the ball sticking to his feet. 


He Has Had His Fair Share of Rejection 


The Brazilian was born in the capital before moving to Rio. He trained with Botafogo, Vasco da Gama and Fluminense in his early years, before eventually settling at Flamengo in 2013.

Originally starting out as a defensive-minded midfielder, the club recognised his talents and moved him further up the field, allowing him to flourish in a number ten role. Despite being told he was not good enough in his early days, Reinier is now proving to be one of Brazil’s – and world football’s – most exciting young talents. 


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How Arsenal’s Players Fared During the November International Break

​While their north London rivals Tottenham have been stealing all the headlines in the past 24 hours, Arsenal had a number of first team players away on international duty over the past week or so, both at senior and junior level.

Here’s a look at all those who had games and how they got on…


Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli (Youth Level)

Joe Willock

All of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Mar​tinelli were in youth international action over the break.

Nelson scored after coming on as a substitute for his club teammate Willock in the Young Lions’ 3-0 victory over Albania, while both came off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands.

Smith Rowe also found the net for the Under-20s during their 4-0 hammering of Portugal, and featured in Paul Simpson’s side’s 3-0 victory over Iceland as a substitute.

Martinelli continued his meteoric rise by turning out for the Brazil Under-23s at the age of just 18, starting the 1-0 defeat to Argentina as the youngest player on the pitch.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)​


​Arsenal’s new captain ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started both AFCON qualifiers for Gabon despite arriving in ​controversial fashion.

Unusually, the Premier League Golden Boot holder failed to score for his country, but did get an assist in the 2-1 victory over Angola.


Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)​


The Gunners’ ​former captain had a pretty successful international break, scoring once as Switzerland secured their place at Euro 2020 with victories over Georgia and Gibraltar.

The Swiss skipper still managed to find time to throw some shade at ​Arsenal’s divided fanbase during his Instagram post after the Georgia game, stating: “In Unity there is strength, in strength there is Victory.” This saga looks set to run and run…


Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

FBL-AFR-CAN-2021-QUALIFIER-CIV-NIG

Nicolas Pepe started both games for the Ivory Coast as his country got their AFCON qualification campaign off to an unconvincing start with a narrow victory over Niger and a loss to Ethiopia.

The Gunners’ record signing was left out of Unai Emery’s last two Premier League starting XIs, and will face a battle to get back in if his international form is anything to go by.


Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)

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Despite rumours linking him with a move away from the Emirates over the international break, Lucas Torreira featured in both Uruguay’s friendlies.

The 24 year-old, who is ​wanted by AC Milan, was a sub in the victory over Hungary, and started the draw with Argentina.


Sead Kolasinac (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

FBL-EURO2020-QUALIFIER-BOSNIA-ITALY

Kolasinac started his country’s 3-0 loss to Italy over the international break, but was not included in the side that won 3-0 over Liechtenstein.

After failing to qualify automatically the Bosnian will now face a tricky playoff against Northern Ireland in March for the chance to play in Euro 2020​.


Bernd Leno (Germany)

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One of Arsenal’s brightest players so far this season, Leno went unused as Germany recorded big wins over Belarus and Northern Ireland.

Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are Joachim Low’s firm favourites in goal, so Leno will just have to keep performing well at the Emirates and hope a chance comes eventually.


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7 Defenders Arsenal Should Look to Sign in January

Arsenal’s defensive problems aren’t anything new for fans to contest with in recent years, with the Emirates crowd spending most of the last decade watching the likes of André Santos, Sébastien Squillaci and most recently David Luiz cost them points on a weekly basis.

Goals have never been an issue for the Gunners. But it’s at the other end of the pitch which is where Arsenal have sacrificed their status as one of the Premier League’s original big four and are now scrapping for Europa League qualification.

Unai Emery’s side won’t be boosted by the arrival of William Saliba until next summer, but with Arsenal currently in the best position possible to return to the Champions League, fans are crying out for at least one new face in the January transfer window.

David Luiz,Sokratis Papastathopoulos

So with just over a month to go before the transfer window opens up once again, here are seven defenders that Arsenal could (and should) tempt away from their respective clubs before the end of the season.


Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur

Toby Alderweireld

It’s a suggestion that is bound to raise eyebrows for both sets of fans in north London, but a January move to Arsenal for Toby Alderweireld could be a deal which suits all parties involved.

The Belgium international is intent on running down his contract with Tottenham and his form this season has suggested that he’s in desperate need of a fresh start.

But at 30 years old and with a second child on the way, Alderweireld isn’t going to want to have any drastic change at the end of the season, and if Spurs can recoup some money for him in January, a two or three-year contract at Arsenal could be perfect for everyone.

And if nothing else, we’re all getting a bit bored of the “Sol Campbell has won the double” chant from Arsenal fans, so an up to date dig at their north London rivals would be a blessing for the ears of every other fan in the Premier League.


Thomas Meunier – Paris Saint-Germain

Thomas Meunier

He might not be a centre back, but Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Meunier is another Belgium international who looks destined to become a free agent next summer.

Héctor Bellerín’s return from injury and Calum Chambers’ surprisingly good form has been good enough for Arsenal so far, but some extra competition at right back would be welcomed by most fans at Emirates Stadium – especially if a centre back is also on the club’s shopping list this winter.

Meunier can play anywhere on the right side of the pitch, while he could also take over Granit Xhaka’s role in the side as he made a couple of appearances as a defensive midfielder earlier in his career at Club Brugge.


Dael Fry – Middlesbrough

Dael Fry

It might not be a box-ticking exercise that fans take into account all too often, but Arsenal could do with boosting their pool of homegrown players sooner rather than later.

There are a plethora of youngsters coming through the academy which certainly help to do just that, but Arsenal could look to snap up Middlesbrough’s Dael Fry as a long-term investment for their defence.

It would be a similar deal to Rob Holding’s arrival in 2016, but Fry would be able to offer Arsenal an immediate improvement on their current options at centre back, as well as a potential future partner for Saliba next season.


Pau Torres – Villarreal CF

Pau Torres

It’s a rumour which has picked up pace in recent days, but 90min actually revealed Arsenal’s interest in Pau Torres last month.

The Gunners were tipped off about Torres’ talents by their former midfielder Santi Cazorla, but after breaking into the senior national team the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are also keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.

A January move for Torres would see any interest clubs forced to shell out up to £43m, but as he’s emerging as European football’s most exciting defender it could prove to be a bargain for Arsenal in the long haul.


Nico Elvedi – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Nico Elvedi

It might be a move that’s an even longer shot that Alderweireld given that Borussia Mönchengladbach at the top of the Bundesliga, but Nico Elvedi’s transfer value will start to plummet as he nears the end of his contract.

He’s been one of the best defenders in Germany this season and would be certain to warm to Arsenal fans much better than their current player who’s part of Switzerland’s national team.

His contract runs out in 2021 and could be available in a cheaper deal in the summer, but Arsenal could test Gladbach’s resolve in the winter and might even be tempted to land a double deal for another one of their targets, Denis Zakaria.


Léo Santos – Corinthians

Lucas Romero,Leo Santos

With Edu Gaspar taking up his role behind the scenes, Arsenal could raid the Brazilian market once again by convincing 20-year-old Léo Santos to north London in January.

The Brazil Under-20 international hasn’t made any appearances this season due to injury, but Santos is already being scouted by clubs across Europe thanks to his loan spell at Fluminense earlier this year.

He’s one of Brazil’s most exciting defensive talents and looks destined to end up in Tite’s senior national team sooner rather than later, but Santos will be available in a cut-price deal as his contract with Corinthians runs out next September.


Dayot Upamecano – RB Leipzig

Dayot Upamecano

It’s a transfer rumour which won’t go away for Arsenal fans, but Dayot Upamecano could prove to be their best possible option in the January transfer window.

90min has learned that Manchester City are also tracking the 21-year-old defender, with Upamecano close to entering the final year of his contract at RB Leipzig.

Even though Upamecano is widely regarded as one of the best young centre backs in Europe, his place in Leipzig’s first-team will be lost when Ibrahima Konaté returns from injury and he could look for regular chances elsewhere.


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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