Lucas Torreira almost joined Napoli instead of Arsenal – and he still might return to Italy in the future, according to his dad.
The Uruguayan has impressed everyone with his displays at The Emirates since joining the Gunners from Sampdoria last summer.
Torreira, 23, cemented his status as a fan favourite with a goal against Tottenham in December and has featured in all-but-one of the club’s 30 Premier League matches.
Away from domestic action, the midfield terrier and his team-mates are also preparing to face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals next month.
However, the South American could easily have been lining-up against Arsenal for the opposition, revealed his father.
Dad Ricardo told Radio Martie: “It’s true, Lucas was very close to Napoli.
“There were negotiations with Napoli, but something strange happened, and you know in the transfer market things can change from one moment to the next.
“Negotiations are long and complicated processes, so it can happen that they don’t go the way we expected.
“There was this opportunity to go to England and Lucas took it, so I have to say he is happy at Arsenal.”
Thankfully for the Gunners they got their man, but Torreira may soon have eyes on heading back to Serie A.
His dad added: “Obviously, Lucas is very fond of Italian football, where he grew up, and might return to Italy in future.
“You can never say never, so it’s possible he could come back to this marvellous country and, why not to Napoli or another club that makes an offer?”
Arsenal will be determined not to lose another midfielder this summer if clubs start circling.
Torreira is currently on international duty and is likely to start today’s China Cup semi-final against Uzbekistan in Nanning.