Gunners join race for Spaniard.
Arsenal have joined the race for Spanish hitman Fernando Llorente with the Athletic Bilbao striker delaying signing a new deal with the club.
The 27-year-old has interested Arsene Wenger for a while and is out of contract next summer with his club looking to cash in on him in January if he does not put pen to paper.
Manchester City and Chelsea are also interested in picking up the striker who is valued at around £15million, according to Metro.
Llorente impressed last season with 30 goals in 53 games, including one in a superb display at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the Europa League.
If he does sign a new deal with Bilbao he will have to win over his own fans as they booed him in a recent fixture against Espanyol.
Whether Arsenal will spend the money on Llorente is another matter, after Wenger’s latest outburst over excessive money in football.
The Arsenal manager is a leading supporter of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which he hopes will curb the spending of clubs like Manchester City and Paris St Germain and help his team end their seven-year trophy drought.
‘In the end, football suffers,’ said Wenger. ‘Look what happened in the transfer market this summer. PSG are ambitious, they have resources, and there you go.
‘We always say the same thing. Europe, it’s like the Titanic. But we carry on as if nothing matters. More than ever, we need to manage our clubs in a controlled way because otherwise everyone suffers.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
Fernando Llorente is looking increasingly likely to leave Athletic Bilbao in January, with the big striker desperate to play Champions League football.
Arsenal are the latest club to show an interest in the Spaniard but the Gunners will face competition from Serie A giants Juventus and Premier League rivals Liverpool for his signature.
Llorente came close to joining Spurs in the summer but it is understood his wage demands, in excess of £100,000 a week, proved too steep for the north Londoners. With Arsenal unwilling to pay England winger Theo Walcott over £75,000 per week, they too may find the 27-year-old too pricey.
Transfer fee, however, shouldn’t prove a major issue. By January, Llorente will have just six months remaining on his contract at the Basque club and Athletic will be desperate to offload him rather than losing him for free next summer, with a fee of just £14m realistic.
Questions remain about whether Llorente will fit Arsenal’s style of play but if boss Arsene Wenger is still looking to replace Robin van Persie, then there are few better proven European goal-scorers than the Spain international.
Compare ticket prices for the upcoming El Clasico matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Buy Real Madrid and FC Barcelona tickets for the first El Clasico of the season at the Nou Camp on 7 October and many more La Liga matches with the leading ticket comparison site.