MIKEL ARTETA told Lucas Torreira ‘it’s not the moment’ to sell him after he begged for a transfer.
The Uruguayan star, 25, requested a move from Arsenal back to South America to be closer to his family.
His mother sadly passed away with coronavirus during the international break.
And Torreira revealed in an emotional interview his desire to play for beloved Boca Juniors in Argentina.
But Arteta warned the midfielder – who joined in 2018 and is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid – against making any rash, impulsive decisions during difficult circumstances.
The Gunners boss said: “Of course we contacted him.
“We have spoken to him and we know how difficult a time this is for him. He was really attached to his mum and he’s really attached to his family.
“It’s a hard time for him and emotionally there is a lot of thoughts that will go through his mind. When things are like that, it’s not the moment to make decisions.
“I understand how he’s feeling emotionally. He probably feels the need and responsibility to be closer to his family.
“But it’s not the moment to make any decisions and it certainly is a decision that has to be made by different parties. Now, nothing is going to change. It’s just an interview with some comments. Let’s see what happens.
“We know that when you recruit a player from a foreign country, when they have that struggle sometimes to adapt to a new culture, a new language, a new way of doing things.
“This risk is there and then you have to be able to manage that risk and make the right decisions at the right time.”
Torreira grew up in Fray Bentos, close to the Argentina border and less than four hours’ drive from Buenos Aires, home of Boca.
And he told ESPN Argentina his plan to force through a move has been in mind for a long time.
The ex-Sampdora man, whose Emirates contract expires in 2023, said: “It’s not a violent emotion, a crazy decision because of my mother. I have always said that I want to play for Boca.
“I’m dying to play for Boca and I will always say it.
“The night my mother died, one of the first to hear the news was my agent.
“I don’t want to play in Europe anymore, I want to play for Boca.
“I want to be close to my home, my family. I have a contract at Arsenal and I am on loan at Atletico but I want to go to Boca. I hope the clubs can agree.
“It’s been two years since I was enjoying myself personally, I haven’t had continuity. Arsenal hurt me and at Atletico, I don’t play like I want.”
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