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Emirates Stadium side to test La Liga side’s resolve with experienced forward bid.
Arsenal and Manchester City are preparing to test Athletic Bilbao’s resolve to keep hold of Fernando Llorente, the club’s Spain striker, in the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old’s contract expires in June and he has informed Bilbao that he has no intention of extending his stay.
SOURCE: The Times
Under ‘normal’ circumstances Arsenal may have elected to wait until the summer to pick up Fernando Llorente on a free transfer but after a very shaky first half of the season Arsene Wenger can’t really wait until the end of the season to beef up his threadbare attack.
Aside from a couple of big goal hauls against Southampton and Tottenham the North London club have struggled to kill off the opposition, a point that is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Arsenal have managed just eight goals in eight away games, which is the same as bottom of the table QPR.
Arsenal sit in seventh spot and the very least Wenger will need from this campaign is a top four finish and the resultant Champions League qualification slot.
Currently the Gunners rely on Olivier Giroud as their main central attacking option and the Frenchman, though much improved, has on the whole failed to deliver. The former Montpellier man has scored four goals in 16 Premier League appearances, a record that is simply not good enough.
Therefore Wenger has targeted experienced Spaniard Fernando Llorente to improve his options and it would take a relatively affordable bid to persuade Athletic Bilbao to cash-in on a player who they will lose for nothing in six months time.
Llorente has scored 89 goals in 188 games over the past four seasons but has seen his form dip this term and appears set for a San Mames departure sooner or later.
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