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Arsenal ‘agree £26m deal’ to sign battling midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria

Uruguayan was one of the breakthrough players in Serie A last season and soon attracted interested from Europe's top clubs

Ask any Arsenal fan what they’ve been missing in the last decade or so and they’ll tell you it’s a tough-tackling, energetic midfielder.

Remember when they opted for Granit Xhaka over N’Golo Kante two summers ago?

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But under Unai Emery they appear to have learned their lesson, with reports in Italy claiming they’ve agreed a £26m deal to sign Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria.

The Gunners have been in talks with the Serie A side over the Uruguayan’s transfer in recent weeks.

Arsenal 'agree £26m deal' to sign Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria

Arsenal ‘agree £26m deal’ to sign Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria

Lucas Torriera is going to the World Cup despite only having one cap

Lucas Torreira is going to the World Cup despite only having one cap

And Gazzetta dello Sport report a deal has now been agreed and Torreira, 22, will sign a five-year deal to become the first significant signing of the Unai Emery era.

The Uruguayan actually had a £22m release clause, but it is believed Arsenal wanted to pay the amount in instalments, which required them to pay a little over that fee.

Torreira only made his international debut in the recent China Cup and has been included in Oscar Tabarez’s World Cup squad, despite only having one cap to his name.

Lucas Torreira scored against Juventus in 3-2 victory for Sampdoria

Lucas Torreira scored against Juventus in 3-2 victory for Sampdoria

Torreira joined Italian side Pescara’s famous youth team in 2014, which has seen the likes of Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile graduate from it.

He scored four goals in 36 Serie A appearances last season, which included one in a 3-2 win over Juventus.

Napoli had been expected to sign him for much of last season as they look to replace both Marek Hamsik and Jorginho, while Borussia Dortmund were also in the running.

However, despite not being able to offer Champions League football, Arsenal have beaten off competition to sign one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Europe.

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