Mikel Arteta says that Arsenal are keep close tabs on Lucas Torreira as rumours about cutting his loan with Atletico Madrid continue.
The Uruguayan has been struggling for playing time since his arrival in La Liga, playing just 257 minutes in total, and completing 90 minutes just once.
The Arsenal boss, along with Technical Director Edu, are keen for him to play more, but understands why – with Atleti top of the table and front-runners for the title – Diego Simeone has been reluctant to alter his team too much.
“He hasn’t been playing as many minutes as he would like, as we would like,” said Arteta.
“But to be fair the team is doing so well in Spain and it is understandable they don’t change the team so much.
“We just want to be right behind Lucas, protect him, help him make the right decisions for the future, so let’s see what happens. But we are monitoring the situation very closely.
“We have been talking to Lucas, Edu has been very close to the situation.”
As for what might happen between now and the deadline on February 1st, Arteta said, “I don’t know. At the moment he’s going to stay at Atletico, that’s my belief and I don’t know if that is going to change in the next two or three days.”
Torreira has been linked with moves back to Italy, and in recent days there has been reported interest from Monaco, but with so little time left in the window, it looks more likely he’ll stay in Madrid.
Arteta also spoke about potential loan/permanent departures for Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Shkodran Mustafi – read what he has to say here.