Arsenal believe Atletico Madrid is sabotaging Lucas Torreira’s transfer value by barely playing him during his loan spell, according to reports in Spain.
Torreira joined Los Rojiblancos in October, with Thomas Partey moving the other way. Since his arrival, he has barely appeared, making only three starts in all competitions.
After Diego Simeone moved up to a 3-5-2 form two months ago, Torreira found himself behind Koke, Hector Herrera and November’s arrival Geoffrey Kondogbia in the pecking order – the latter including Atletico received special dispensation to sign outside the transfer window following Partey’s departure.
According to Liberta Digital, his lack of playing time is starting to frustrate his parent club. There was no option to buy clause included in Torreira’s loan deal and the report suggests Atleti is trying to downgrade the player’s value.
As well as having potential benefits if they decide to make the move permanent in the summer, there could be another reason for Simeone’s dastardly plan. It is well known that El Cholo was angry when Arsenal triggered Partey’s release clause at the eleventh hour, so Atleti could get revenge (rather expensive).
The Gunners are said to be ready to “take action” if the situation persists, with Fiorentina reportedly interested in lending the player. However, his agent recently insisted he was ready to fight for his place at Atletico.
Simeone’s side have performed very well despite Torreira’s limited involvement so far this season and are currently at the top of the table, having lost just once in La Liga. Moreover, they have two games in hand against rivals Real Madrid and could take their lead to eight points if they win them both.
The Rojiblancos have also made it to the last 16 games of the Champions League, where they will face Chelsea in February.