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Juventus Closing In On Man City Target Fernando Llorente

Juve close in on Spurs and City target.Juventus have stolen a march on Tottenham and Manchester City in the race to sign unsettled Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, according to reports in Italy.

Llorente, the Spain international, has informed Athletic that he does not intend to extend his stay beyond next summer, prompting interest from several clubs across Europe.

Juventus’s summer search for a centre forward has yet to bear fruit, and senior officials at the Turin club have now decided to focus their attention on luring Llorente to Italy.

Calciomercatonews.com claims Juventus have offered Athletic £14m for Llorente – with the bid subsequently rejected.

The Serie A champions, who are expected to return with an improved offer, are also willing to offer Llorente an annual salary of £1.9m.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has just one senior centre-forward, Jermain Defoe, in his squad at the moment, and he is desperate to bring in more attacking reinforcements before the end of the month and could launch a move for Llorente.

SOURCE: talkSPORT

If the source proves to be correct, not only will this strike a blow to Tottenham and Man City’s hopes of landing Fernando Llorente, it also suggests that Juventus are well and truly out of the race to sign Arsenal’s Robin van Persie.

Some reports have suggested that Juve were willing to offer Van Persie in excess of £190,000 a week – after tax – and if this figures is even close to being accurate, then Spurs, in particular, never stood a chance of competing for Llorente.

City, meanwhile, are in an odd position of being incredibly wealthy but having a principled football administrator in Brian Marwood, who seems unwilling to shell-out any money, particularly on a striker, until the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz have left the club.

As for Tottenham, one can’t help but feel they are aiming a tad too high. Without Champions League football and monstrous wages, it’ll be tough to attract the likes of Llorente and Leandro Damiao to White Hart Lane.

Surely there are plenty of striker below that standard but above the god-awful-Gregorz Rasiak/Fraiser Campbell/Louis Saha-desperation level?


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