Arsenal Hope to Make £28m Spanish International Fourth Summer Signing

Emirates Stadium side linked with move for in-form striker.

Spanish daily Marca is today reporting that Arsenal are lining up a move for Athletic Bilbao’s want-away forward Fernando Llorente.

This source claims that Bilbao will demand any prospective suitors for the Spanish international cough up the €36m (£28m) needed to trigger the 27 year old’s release clause. Arsene Wenger is of course well known for spending sparingly and even though the Frenchman has brought in three quality signings this summer he is probably unlikely to spend as much as that one player.

The Gunners boss has snapped up Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla from Koln, Montpellier and Malaga respectively and has done so for a total fee of around £36m, which represents good business. Any move the North London club does make for Llorente would surely be one that falls some way below Athletic Bilbao’s hoped windfall.

It is perhaps no surprise that Llorente would issue a request to leave his San Mames side having spent eight seasons in the Athletic Bilbao first team but seemingly gotten no nearer to securing major honours or experiencing Champions League football.

Perhaps most worryingly for the 6ft 5in forward his place in the Spanish national team set-up appears to have become less frequent than in previous years. Though Llorente put in his most prolific goal tally last term, notching up 30 in all competitions, he didn’t manage a single minute of action in the Euro 2012 finals. A high-profile move may well help him to secure a more prominent role in Vicente del Bosque’s plans.

Llorente has scored 90 goals in 187 games over the past four seasons and is a consistent marksman who’s build and strength could well lend well to life in the English top tier.

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