Arsenal 'target' Fernando Llorente agrees to join Juventus
Spain international had been linked with move to the Premier League
Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has agreed to join Juventus on a four-year contract at the end of the season.
The Spain international, whose deal with Athletic expires at the end of June, will become a Juve player on July 1st.
A statement on juventus.com read: "Juventus can confirm that Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente will join the club on July 1, 2013.
"The 27-year-old has agreed terms on a four-year deal and will move to Turin when his Athletic Bilbao contract expires at the end of the current season."
In November, Llorente announced his decision to leave the club where he has spent nine seasons since graduating from the academy.
Amid reported interest from a host of Barclays Premier League clubs including Tottenham, Serie A champions Juventus publicly entered talks with Llorente at the start of January.
Llorente has made 334 appearances for Athletic, scoring 104 goals in all competitions, with his best return coming during the 2011-12 campaign when his 29 goals helped the Basque outfit to the Copa del Rey and Europa League finals.
His prolific record at San Mames has also earned Llorente international recognition. He has scored seven goals in 21 appearances for Spain and was included in the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.
Llorente has been used sparingly by Athletic coach Marcelo Bielsa since declaring his intention to leave, but his lack of activity has not dissuaded Juve, who currently lead the Serie A table by five points in their bid to retain the title.
Despite their dominance, Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte has struggled to forge an effective strikeforce from a pool of Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri, with on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner failing to make an impact due to injury.
Today's announcement cools speculation that Juve were prepared to pay Athletic to release Llorente early, with both Didier Drogba of Shanghai Shenhua and Lyon's Lisandro Lopez being targeted as short-term solutions to the club's lack of firepower.
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Manchester City coach in waiting Manuel Pellegrini: Inside the mind of anti-Mancini
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you need to know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.