Juventus, Fernando Llorente in talks
The general sports director of Serie A champion Juventus, Giuseppe Marotta, confirmed Monday that Fernando Llorente is an "interesting player" and admitted the team would be reaching out to Athletic to discuss a potential transfer, the Spanish news agency Efe reported.
Athletic club president Josu Urrutia confirmed to Spanish media Monday that he won't be renewing the contract of the 27-year-old striker, but added that he is not budging from the 36 million Euro ($44 million) transfer fee. "It is no consolation that I am given 12, 14 or 16 million [for Llorente]," he said.
"We are analyzing the moment, and then we could try a vote on the ground and contact Bilbao Athletic," Marotta told the Italian media site Sky Sport24. "We have various objectives this summer, but some clubs have not put the players that interest us on the market and some players have asked for excessive contracts, which, at the moment, with the current economic situation, do not have meaning."
Last week, the Spanish newspaper Marca.com reported that Juventus would bid 20 million Euros ($24.7 million) for Llorente, who has one year remaining on his Athletic contract.
Marotta cautioned that Juventus' plans are to supplement the existing team.
"Here in Juventus we have a winning model, thanks to Antonio Conte," he said. "As a club we must, however, work always to improve, pairing technical decisions with economic demands."
On Monday, Urrutia confirmed that Llorente's reps reached out to him 10 days ago to let him know that Llorente is not interested in signing the contract extension offered by the team.
Tottenham Hotspur is also reportedly interested in Llorente, who was on Spain's 2010 World Cup winning team.
The complete list of Serie A transfers is here.