Arsenal dealt big-money contract blow over Spanish international

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Arsenal are set to miss out on long-term Spanish striker target Fernando Llorente, according to reports.

The 27-year-old hitman has been heavily linked with a move away from Sevilla, and The Daily Mirror reports that Juventus are willing to pay the player more to secure his services.

Llorente’s current deal at San Mames expires at the end of the season, meaning the 21-cap international could either leave on a cut-price deal in January or sign a pre-contract agreement to move for free in the summer.

Either way, an enticing contract offer is likely to prove crucial when it comes to signing the player, and the Serie ‘A’ giants are being tipped to offer £145,000-a-week to the player, according to the paper.

That's more than any player currently on the Arsenal books earns, and could well blow Arsene Wenger out of the water in this particular transfer race.

Despite the additions of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud at the Emirates Stadium this summer, the Gunners are still thought to be in the market for a striker as they look to fill the gap left by Robin Van Persie’s exit.

The budget is unlikely to stretch to Llorente however, and Arsenal may well have to take their striker search elsewhere in the opening month of 2013.

The same report also claims that Juventus are lining-up a move for England international winger Theo Walcott, whose contract also expires at the end of the season.

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