Arsenal and Tottenham on alert after Spain striker Fernando Llorente reveals Premier League ambitions
Athletic Bilbao striker out of contract in the summer
Wednesday 12 December 2012
Fernando Llorente has alerted Arsenal and Tottenham by revealing he would like to move to the Premier League when he leaves Athletic Bilbao, report the Evening Standard.
Both north London clubs are monitoring closely the position of the Spain forward, who has been frozen out by Athletic after refusing to sign a new contract last summer. Llorente's current deal expires at the end of the campaign.
The 27-year-old could be available for a cut-price fee in next month's transfer window. The likelihood is that he will be made to stay until the end of the campaign - Athletic would miss out on a fee - but Llorente is allowed to agree terms in January for a summer transfer abroad.
"We're approaching the date when I can sign for other clubs," said Llorente.
"I really like the Premier League and I've said on more than one occasion it's a League that appeals to me.
"You never know. It's one good option in terms of my future but we'll have to wait until the end of the season to see what happens. I'm trying to keep it in the hands of my brother and my representatives so I can focus on football."
Spurs, in particular, have examined the Spanish market closely and showed strong interest last summer not only in Llorente but in his fellow internationals Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado.
Juventus, who are desperate to sign a centre-forward, have also expressed their admiration for Llorente but the forward denied he had already reached an understanding with the Italian champions.
"It's totally untrue that I have agreed to join Juventus," Llorente told Sky Sports. "It's normal that people talk about these things but ultimately you have to respect the rules. I'm an Athletic player and until January 1 I cannot sign for any other team.
"I made the decision to leave Athletic at the start of the season and after that I noticed a significant deterioration in my relationship with the fans due to my protracted contract negotiations.
"It was when I became fully aware of how that situation had affected the supporters that I decided to leave. You have to bear the situation for a long time and ultimately, you get tired of living like that."
Latest in Sport
FA Cup: Arsenal v Everton match preview
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: Is Wayne Rooney really in Robin van Persie’s way at United?
Robin van Persie: Manchester United manager David Moyes a 'little bit surprised' after striker plays 90 minutes for Netherlands day after being sick
Chelsea v Tottenham: Tim Sherwood claims the pressure is off as Spurs look to end dreadful record at Stamford Bridge
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast