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Arsenal star's agent admits he neared surprise Gunners exit – 'There was the possibility'

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The Uruguay international proved a real hit at last year’s World Cup in Russia, earning a move to the Emirates Stadium from Sampdoria.

He got off on the right note too, scoring against Tottenham in the north London derby to instantly prove a hit with supporters.

But as the season went on, his form dipped amid claims he was missing Italy and struggling to adapt to life in England off the field.

Now the player’s agent Pablo Bentancur has admitted that the pair discussed a return to Serie A in months gone by.

“There was the possibility. Giampaolo is in the heart of Lucas,” Bentancur told TMW.

“But Arsenal said he had no intention of selling the boy.

“Lucas is fine, the club are happy with him. This will be the year of consecration. With the Arsenal shirt.

“Milan is Milan, it will always be an important team, even if today it has some economic problems.”

AC Milan were the club most serious about signing Torreira if he became available.

That’s after his former boss at Sampdoria, Marco Giampaolo moved to the San Siro.

Speculation was ignited after the midfielder spoke to press at the Copa America while on international duty.

“I think it was better in Italy. England is a totally different world, a very large country,” he said.

“The language [barrier] has cost me, to be able to relate with my peers and with the people. It is very difficult when you can’t have dialogue.

“And so is the climate. You go out in the morning and it is cloudy, you arrive late to your home and it is cloudy.

“It is strange a little bit, the sun, the more of us that we are here and we are accustomed to having always or almost always the sun. But as the years pass, I’m going to be adapting.”

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Transfer news: £60m star reveals he almost joined Arsenal as player arrives for trial

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The interlull is in full swing but there is still plenty of Arsenal-related news floating around so here are a couple of transfer bits for you to get your teeth in to….

As reported by talkSPORT, Riyad Mahrez has confirmed he almost joined Arsenal in 2016 but Leicester blocked the move before he eventually moved to Man City for £60m two years later.

Mahrez was instrumental in helping Leicester stun the world by winning the Premier League and unsurprisingly he attracted interest from Arsenal after being named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2016.

At one stage a move looked inevitable and Mahrez has confirmed he was close to sealing a transfer to the Emirates after holding talks with Arsene Wenger before Leicester block the deal and forced him to stay at the King Power.

The attacker has expressed his frustration at being denied his move to Arsenal back in 2016 but he eventually got a big move after sealing a £60m switch to Man City in 2018.

He told France Football:

“After the title, if I’d left for a top team, it wouldn’t have been the same story. For me, it’s clear that I lost two years at the highest level. I lost two years! Because instead of arriving at City at 27, I could have been there at 24, 25.

“Leicester blocked me. They told me: ‘You’re not leaving, you’re not leaving’. My agent had spoken to [Arsene] Wenger who really wanted me. It was nearly all done with Arsenal in 2016. I was really frustrated.

“It wasn’t easy to go from being the best player in the Premier League to being a part of a team fighting against relegation. It’s not the same job. Everyone is waiting for you around the corner.”

Mahrez would have been an excellent signing for Arsenal in 2016 but we failed to sign him and team mate Jamie Vardy so they’ll join the long list of players Wenger ‘nearly’ signed.

Next up and according to TeamTalk, Colorado Rapids midfielder Cole Bassett is spending the week on trail with Arsenal as he bids to try and secure a move to North London.

The report says Bassett will train with the U23s this week but the 18-year-old is hoping to earn the chance to train with the first team and make up the numbers with several players away on international duty.

Bassett says Arsenal are his ‘favourite club’ so he’s delighted to have been given the chance to show what he can do and he’s desperate to learn from such a great club.

According to TeamTalk, Bassett told the Denver Post:

“As most people already know, this is my favourite club, I don’t know which team it will be because it’s an international break for them. Hopefully, there will be a couple of guys missing with the first team and I can get with them. But I’m just excited to get over there and show up basically.

“When Arsenal came over here and played us, you could see there are little things that they do that I just don’t quite have yet. I’m eager to learn from them. Picking up things from every player will help improve my game. It’s going to be a great learning experience.”

Stan Kronke, Arsenal’s much maligned owner, also owns the Colorado Rapids so it looks like the connection between the two clubs has led to Bassett being given an opportunity to have a trial at London Colney.

The teenager is highly rated in the US and Bundesliga side Freiburg tried to buy him last year following a successful trial but Colorado knocked back their proposal in favour of keeping hold of the player.

Bassett has scored two goals and provided one assist in his 20 MLS games this year and was selected for the MLS Homegrown All-Star game. It remains to be seen whether he has what it takes to make it at Arsenal but it sounds like he’s ready to work hard to try and secure a move to the club. Good luck to the lad.



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Arsenal and Tottenham backed for transfer battle for ‘perfect’ Leicester star

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Leicester City star Ricardo Pereira would be an improvement on both Arsenal and Tottenham’s first-choice right-backs, claims former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy.

Pereira has become one of the top right-sided defenders in the Premier League since joining Leicester from Porto in the summer of 2018.

And Cundy has suggested there should be a transfer battle between north London rivals Arsenal and Spurs for him.

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin is just returning to full fitness from a long-term injury, making his first Premier League appearance since in the 2-0 loss to Leicester on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Tottenham’s Serge Aurier has received criticism for his performances this season, with Spurs choosing to sell England international Kieran Trippier in the summer.

So Cundy reckons Pereira would be a better option for both sides.

“I know [James] Vardy gets all the plaudits, I know [James] Maddison does and he was brilliant at the weekend,” Cundy said on talkSPORT.

“But Ricardo Pereira, and this is not just based on what I’ve seen this season and at the weekend, last season as well.

“He scored a brilliant goal against Manchester City, he gets in those advanced areas.

“He is the perfect example of what a modern day right-back is – they’re not just a defender.

“[Trent] Alexander-Arnold, you look at what he does – he’s not just a defender.

“But Ricardo Pereira is certainly one of the best right-backs in the country, I think Leicester are incredibly fortunate to have him.

“They paid around £20m for him but you think about other clubs that are looking for a right-back – Arsenal.

“Arsenal’s always going to be that team that you compare Leicester to, and Spurs.

“Spurs, their right-back is nowhere near as good. They just released Trippier of course and Kyle Walker moved on a couple of years ago.

“That’s the sort of player that Spurs should be having at right-back.”

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MLS wonderkid Cole Bassett 'handed week-long trial by Arsenal'

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MLS wonderkid Cole Bassett ‘handed week-long trial by Arsenal’ ahead of potential January move for 18-year-old Gunners supporter  

  • Colorado Rapids teenager Cole Bassett will train with Arsenal’s Under 23 side 
  • Arsenal supporter Bassett scored two goals in 29 games for the Rapids in 2019
  • Colorado Rapids and Arsenal have connection through Stan Kroenke 

Arsenal have handed a week-long trial to Colorado Rapids wonderkid Cole Bassett after the 18-year-old impressed during his breakthrough MLS campaign. 

Bassett, who is a big Arsenal supporter, will train with the club’s Under 23 side ahead of a potential move in January. 

The trial period will be made easy to facilitate as Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke also owns MLS outfit Colarado Rapids.   

Arsenal want to have a close look at Colorado Rapids wonderkid Cole Bassett

Arsenal want to have a close look at Colorado Rapids wonderkid Cole Bassett

Bassett, speaking to The Denver Post, said of his trial in England: ‘As most people already know, this is my favourite club.

‘I don’t know which team it will be because it’s an international break for them.

‘Hopefully, there will be a couple of guys missing with the first team and I can get with them.

‘But I’m just excited to get over there and show up basically.’

Bassett scored two goals in 29 MLS games during the 2019 season.  

 



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