Lucas Torreira's father revealed that his son was next to meet with Napoli last summer just to finish the signing for Arsenal instead.
The Arsenal will face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals next month and the Uruguayan will probably be a leading player in the draw, having emerged as a key player for the Unai Emery team since he made a move of 22 million pounds from Sampdoria after the World Cup.
Torreira's all-action games in the middle of the Arsenal midfield fascinated him from the club's fans, while he also appeared with the odd important goal included in the 4-2 Spurs win in the December London North derby. .
However, according to his father Ricardo, he almost remained in Italy rather than moving to London because an agreement with Naples was "very close".
Speaking with Radio Marte, Torreira's senior said: "It's true, Lucas was very close to Naples. There were negotiations with Napoli, but something strange happened, and you know that in the transfer market things can change from a moment at another.
"Negotiations are long and complicated processes, so it may happen that they do not go as we expected. It was an opportunity to go to England and Lucas took it, so I must say that he is happy with the # 39; Arsenal.
& # 39; Obviously, Lucas is a fan of Italian football, where he grew up and could return to Italy in the future. You can never say never, so it is possible that he can return to this wonderful country and, why not, to Naples or to another club that makes an offer? "
Torreira began his professional career in Italy with Pescara, to which he joined from Montevideo Wanderers at home before moving to Sampdoria in 2015. The 23-year-old spent a season on loan in Pescara before settling at Sampdoria in the 2016-17 season .
Napoli is considered the favorite to triumph over the Arsenal in the Europa League quarter-finals after falling from the Champions League while currently second only to Juventus in the standings.
More: Arsenal FC