ARSENAL are telling miserly rivals to put up or shut up after pulling the plug on Lucas Torreira’s cut-price move to Fiorentina.
The Emirates hierarchy are fed up with European clubs trying to sign their unwanted players on the cheap.
And they have ruled that the days of the great Gunners giveaway are now a thing of the past as they look to get greater value for money in the transfer market.
They are particularly irked by Fiorentina pleading poverty during negotiations for Torreira just months after using Arsenal’s interest in Dusan Vlahovic to squeeze £65million from Juventus for the striker.
Fiorentina had agreed a £12.5million option to sign Torreira when they took him on loan last season.
But they reneged on that pledge when it came to negotiations for a permanent deal and said they would go no higher than £7million.
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That left the player complaining: “I did my best to continue to be part of Fiorentina but unfortunately there were those acting in a bad way who prevented this from happening and that is why I have to leave.”
It means Arsenal now need to find another buyer for the Uruguayan international midfielder who cost them £26million but does not figure in Mikel Arteta’s plans and only has a year left on his Emirates contract.
But the club believes they had to walk away from Fiorentina’s proposals because they do not want to set a precedent as they try to raise up to £60million from player sales this summer.
Benfica are refusing to meet Arsenal’s £8.5million valuation of German international keeper Bernd Leno despite just banking £85million from the sale of Darwin Nunez to Liverpool.
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And Real Betis want to keep Hector Bellerin after a successful loan spell but do not want to pay a transfer fee for the Spanish international full-back.
Arsenal are painfully aware that they have been seen as a soft touch in the transfer market after allowing major signings such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac, Willian and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to all leave for nothing in recent years.
Now they are taking a determined stance to stop being taken for a ride as they seek to raise funds for a major spending spree of their own.
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