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BBC Sport journalist confirms Arsenal’s interest in Lucas Torreira

BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein has confirmed that Arsenal have begun negotiations with Sampdoria for the services of Lucas Torreira. The Gunners are yet to finalise an agreement for the Uruguay international but the signing of a new central midfielder remains the club’s priority during the transfer window.

Ornstein has closely followed the transfer proceedings at Arsenal over the years and writing on his official Twitter account, he confirmed the Gunners interest in Torreira, he penned: “As widely reported Arsenal in talks to sign Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira. No agreement but central midfield a priority & 22yo Uruguay int’l seen as ideal fit technically + financially. Arsenal also want a GK after defensive signings of Lichtsteiner & Sokratis (announced July)”

The Gunners have struggled to find a tenacious midfielder in their ranks since Santi Cazorla, who is expected to leave the club on a free after failing to recover from a long-term Achilles problem. As such, Torreira has been identified as the leading target to fulfil the void after impressing his tackling and precise long-range passing with Sampdoria.

Meanwhile in the same tweet, Ornstein revealed that the Gunners are on the search for a new goalkeeper and it appears that Bernd Leno could be the leading target on their shortlist. The interest in the German had somewhat cooled over the past few weeks but a recent report from SportBild has suggested that the Gunners are on the verge of signing the shot-stopper.

Based on his performances in recent seasons, Leno has been equally error-prone when compared to the likes of Petr Cech and David Ospina but the German has still caught the eye of head of recruitment Sven Mislintat for the transfer window. The ex-Dortmund chief scout has been placed of the club’s transfer business for the summer as they seek to build a stronger base from the back.