Despite the transfer window being closed, there is always transfer rumours doing the rounds in the papers and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest news during the coming months. Today, Fernando Llorente confirms he’ll leave Athletic Bilbao in the summer.
The 27-year-old has less than 7 months remaining on his current contract and despite several rounds of talks, Bilbao have been unable to convince him to sign an extension.
Llorente rejected the clubs last offer in the summer and asked to leave before the transfer window closed at the end of August but Bilbao refused to sell. Coach Marcelo Bielsa has since outcast the Spanish striker from his team, handing him just one league start this season.
A January move has been mooted but Llorente claims he will wait until his contract runs out at the end of the season before leaving Bilbao on a free transfer.
“I am going to leave on June 30. I want to develop as a player and try something new.”
“It isn’t about money because the offer the club made was irresistible,”
“The media have not helped with the negotiations and it is one of the things that has generated the bad atmosphere around me out on the pitch. This has encouraged me not to renew my contract; this and many other things.
“I took the decision when I went out for the first Europa League game at San Mames (in August).
“Most of what has come out in the press is lies and this has turned people against me. This has meant when I run out on to the pitch people whistle at me. There is a sector of the crowd who do not want me but I feel loved by the majority.”
Llorenteis quoted as saying in the Telegraph
The Telegraph report that Arsene Wenger will have up to £40m available to spend this January and a further £30m in the summer, and a striker is a priority for the Frenchman. Llorente is understood to be high on his wish-list and he may try and tempt Bilbao into selling next month. But even if the La Liga outfit agree to cash in, Wenger may have a job in trying to persuade the player to move early and miss out on a lucrative free transfer move in the summer.
However, the Gunners will face stiff competition for his services with Italian champions Juventus strongly linked in recent months and the Sun claim Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenahm are also interested.
Llorente’s agent, Carlos Arino Bajo, has previously told the Telegraph it was “very, very possible” his client will be moving to the Premier League.
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