Lucas Torreira says he wants to leave Europe and join Boca Juniors in order to be closer to his family after the death of his mother.
In an emotional interview with ESPN Argentina, the Arsenal midfielder – currently on loan at Atletico Madrid – confirmed his mother had passed after a battle with coronavirus.
Torreira says he has long dreamed of playing for Boca, and he intends to fulfil the wish of his father by returning to South America.
What has been said?
Torreira said: “I am trying to understand the situation. It is difficult to come to terms with it but as time passes, we will come to live with this pain.
“My mother was 53 years old and died from Covid. There was an outbreak in Fray Bentos (Torreira's hometown in Uruguay) and she spent 11 days fighting but on Monday morning I received the worst news.
“I asked Atletico for some time off. Cholo (manager Diego Simeone) understood everything and they gave me a week, but I asked to stay for a little longer. On Sunday I will probably return. I have to do my duty and life must continue. Atletico have been very good to me and it’s important.
“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 will do it for my father’
Torreira signed a five-year contract at Arsenal when he joined from Sampdoria in 2018, meaning his deal in north London still has two years to run.
His loan deal at Atletico expires at the end of this season and he is hopeful an agreement can be reached to allow him to join 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.
“Nobody from Boca called, they sent me a shirt. And the day Boca played Santos, I sent a message to encourage them.
“I just want to play for Boca. I have made my decision. I will do it for my father. He asked me and I’m going to do it.”