Sunday, October 14th, 2012
Spanish newspaper AS claim today that Fernando Llorente will leave Athletic Bilbao for the Premier League with three clubs, Arsenal, Manchester City and Spurs, the favourites to bag the striker.
AS have been claiming for some time that Manchester City are the most interested with talks believed to have taken place between Llorente’s brother and the Premier League champions as far back as the back end of last season.
Any deal last summer depended on the departures of Manchester City strikers Edin Dzeko or Mario Balotelli, so Llorente stayed at Athletic Bilbao where his contract will come to and end once the 2012/2013 season is completed.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is also interested in Stevan Jovetic at Fiorentina, putting a move for Llorente in doubt. But, David Silva is reportedly keen for his fellow Spanish national team squad member to join.
Tottenham, according to AS, have held a long standing interest in Llorente, but the Bilbao hitman is not, at the current time, keen on a move to White Hart Lane.
There were rumours during the final hours of the summer transfer window that Spurs had made a late bid for Llorente but the player rejected the overtures from Andre Villas-Boas.
Which leaves Arsenal, with rumours in recent days in the English press that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has 35 million pounds to spend and could launch a bid for Llorente in January to beat off the competition.
AS also suggest Arsenal are now interested with Wenger sniffing a bargain in signing the 27-year-old who could dove tail nicely with Santi Cazorla and potentially replace Olivier Giroud.
Expect this one to run and run. Especially if Llorente remains at Bilbao until the summer of 2013. Video evidence below.