Arsenal will face fierce competition from Juventus if they hope to sign Fernando Llorente as a replacement for departed captain Robin van Persie.

Llorente is likely to leave Athletic Bilbao in January after informing the club of his intention not to sign a new contract at the Estadio San Mames.

This has sparked speculation about the 27-year-old's next destination, and Arsenal are seemingly among the leading candidates to capture his signature during the next transfer window.

According to talkSPORT, Arsenal are keen to recruit the Spain international to replace Van Persie, but Juventus have apparently made the early running in pursuit of Llorente.

Juve chief executive Beppe Marotta claims the club are already working on a deal to bring a 'top player' to Turin in January, and it is reported this target is Llorente.

Arsenal, meanwhile, signed Lukas Podolksi and Olivier Giroud to compensate for the departure of Van Persie during the summer, but Arsene Wenger could be tempted to further reinforce his squad at the next available opportunity.

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