Fiorentina fans launched a protest against Lucas Torreira’s return to Arsenal this week, arguing the club’s CEO should leave instead.
As things stand, Lucas Torreira appears more likely to return to Arsenal this summer than join Fiorentina on a permanent deal. The Serie A side had an option to buy the midfielder, but they aren’t currently set to take it up.
This decision has proven extremely unpopular with the Fiorentina supporters, who voted Torreira their Player of the Month three times in the first four months of 2022.
Lashing out against Fiorentina CEO Joe Barone, a group of fans displayed a banner at their home ground with the words “Torreira to Fiorentina, Barone to Arsenal” written in Italian.
Fiorentina’s option to buy is still valid until May 31st, and Torreira’s agent Pablo Bentancur says they won’t start thinking about other clubs until that option is off the table.
“The margins for Lucas to stay in Florence are very small even if it’s not over yet,” Bentancur said (via Gazzetta.it).
“The issue between him and the Viola is a contractual problem, it doesn’t take much to clarify with Fiorentina and my priority is to find an agreement with the Viola club.
“For now, he’s not thinking about other teams because he was very happy in Florence and is loved by fans. The problem is only contractual, commissions have nothing to do with it.”
Gianluca Di Marzio had initially reported that Fiorentina wouldn’t activate their €15m option to sign the midfielder.
Torreira’s agent spoke to Fiorentina News at the time to explain that the issue was that the Serie A side came to an agreement with Arsenal and with Torreira and then tried to renegotiate with both of them.
“The basic problem is that Lucas (Torreira) earned a higher salary at Arsenal than he took in Florence,” Bentancur said.
“When we agreed on the €1.5 million loan with Arsenal last summer, I got from the English club that Fiorentina would not pay that money if Lucas played at least 25 games (he reached 31 in the league).
“With this, we set the option-to-buy at €15 million, payable in 6 installments of €2.5m by 2025.
“We had agreed on a (player) contract with Fiorentina for the coming seasons of €2.7 million net a year. Fiorentina, however, now wanted to lower both [Torreira’s] salary and the cost of the transfer.
“We couldn’t accept, and Arsenal didn’t accept either. Now Lucas has a contract with the Gunners until June 30, 2023.”
Torreira made 35 appearances for Fiorentina and helped them to a final-day win over Juventus to secure European football for the first time in six years.
The decision to follow that up by haggling over a €15m fee and €2.7m wages for a popular player has clearly not gone down well.