Tottenham & Manchester United On Red Alert As Fernando Llorente Signals Intention To Leave Athletic Bilbao

Spain international wants Champions League football.

Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has told the Basque club he wants to leave to play Champions League football, with Juventus and Manchester United heading a Europe-wide chase for the 27-year-old.

The Serie A holders are poised to start the bidding with a £17 million offer, reports ESPN, but United are ready to match any bid for Llorente, who has rejected a new contract at Bilbao and decided to move on.

Manchester City and Tottenham are also thought to be interested in Llorente, who is available at a cut price because he has just 12 months remaining on his current deal.

Spurs lack of Champions League football is likely to count against them, however.

‘Lion King’ Llorente was a fans favourite in Bilbao but was booed by sections of the San Mames crowd during a Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

The powerful forward scored 30 times last season and helped Bilbao to the Europa League final, scoring in both legs as Athletic eased past Man United in the quarter-final – a performance that caught United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s eye.

The World Cup winner is reportedly keen to finalise his future quickly, with bids from the Premier League and across Europe now expected before the end of the week.

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