Arsenal 'target' Fernando Llorente agrees to join Juventus
Spain international had been linked with move to the Premier League
Thursday 24 January 2013
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.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Latest in Sport
Manchester United official team photo: Antonio Valencia and Anderson pull the funniest faces
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt, including Danny Welbeck must be more clinical and Hector Bellerin debut
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes