Chelsea and Arsenal are set to be dealt a huge transfer blow, with striker target Fernando Llorente poised to choose Juventus over the Premier League in the January transfer window.
Reports in The Daily Mail claim that ‘behind the scenes activity’ have led to the Athletic Bilbao hitman verbally agreeing a deal with the Serie ‘A’ giants, with the Bianconeri hoping to complete a cut-price deal for less than £7.5 million.
That’s half the initial £15 million Bilbao were hoping for, but with the 27-year-old’s contract set to expire in the summer, manager Marcelo Bielsa has few options available after another training ground bust-up with the 21-cap Spanish international.
Arsenal have been linked with Llorente on a number of occasions in the past, and lack depth in the forward position after Robin Van Persie’s sale to Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
Whilst Arsene Wenger drafted in Olivier Giroud at the Emirates Stadium, the Frenchman is yet to find his form for the Gunners, raising immediate concerns with the club’s north London faithful.
Only yesterday, reports in The Daily Star claimed that Llorente was edging closer to a move to the English top flight, but it appears Chelsea are also going to miss out on the player.
Roberto Di Matteo has limited attacking options at his disposal at Stamford Bridge, with Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge the only senior strikers on the Chelsea books.
And, with Sturridge injured, the pressure for Torres to perform on the King’s Road is immense.
Compatriot Llorente could have potentially lifted the burden off ‘El Nino’, but a Spanish double act up-front now appears unlikely for Chelsea fans.
The Blues have been doing alright with just one fit striker of late however, with Saturday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal amplifying that particular point.