Napoli held negotiations with €45m-rated Arsenal midfielder

Napoli plan to offer £21m to Gunners for Lucas Torreira if London club turns down their loan offer for the midfielder, reports say. Uruguay international fell down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium before Unai Emery’s sacking and was permanently played out of his favoured defensive midfield spot.

Lucas has admitted this campaign has been difficult and he now has to prove himself to interim manager Freddie Ljungberg. He has played 90 minutes in back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time this campaign under the Swedish coach, but the Italian club will push forward with plans to add him in winter.

Serie A giants will first test Gunners resolve with a loan offer and should that be rejected, the Italian club are prepared to submit a £21m offer. The pursuit of Torreira will continue despite the exit of Carlo Ancelotti as a coach this week.

Napoli named Gennaro Gattuso as their new manager, and the 23-year-old midfielder said his main goal for the future was to play. ‘My goal for the future is to play. I’m 23. All players want to play, to compete, to fight for your club. I want to help my partners to achieve our aims this season,’ Uruguayan midfielder said.

‘The main thing for me to adapt to was the tempo here. ‘When I arrived, I felt like I was lacking something like the game was being played at a much faster pace. ‘But I worked hard, showed dedication, and with the help of everyone at the club, I got myself on par with my teammates and opponents.