Emirates Stadium side close in on La Liga forward.
Spanish source Marca claim Arsenal are in talks to sign Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente and that the North London club are willing to meet the player’s €36m (£29m) release clause.
Arsenal continue to be linked with a raft of potential attacking additions, not surprising given the loss of Robin Van Persie over the summer, and now this source is confident that the Emirates Stadium side will push on with moves to snap up the Spanish international.
The 27 year old Pamplona born forward may be 6ft 5in tall but he is very good ‘on the deck’ and can still adopt the type of role Arsene Wenger would place him in without the need to change the club’s footballing ethos.
Llorente has certainly outgrown the Basque side he has represented since the age of 11 and having seen Javi Martinez move to Bayern Munich over the summer the prolific forward probably feels it’s time to move on.
Arsene Wenger has all but given up on Marouane Chamakh so therefore has just two senior strikers to call upon, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Indeed now that the French boss appears keen to use the German in a wide role, similarly option to continue to use Gervinho on the flanks, the Arsenal boss has even less options to turn to up front, hence his apparent interest in buying in January.
Marca state that Arsenal have more than sufficient funds to meet Llorente’s release clause but given that the player will be out of contract in the summer one does wonder if Wenger would make such a hefty bid in January?
Llorente has racked up 102 goals over the course of the past five seasons at Athletic Bilbao.
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