Juventus could soon spark a bidding war with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal for Atheltic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente as they prepare to offer £5.6 million for the Spanish striker.
Llorente is likely to be at the heart of a fierce transfer tussle when the winter window open as a host of leading European clubs prepare offers for the wantaway forward.
The 27-year-old turned down the offer of a contract extension at the San Mames Stadium over the summer, and has since then endured a tumultuous relationship with the club’s fans and manager, Marcelo Biesla.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham along with Juventus were linked with a move for Llorente in the summer, and now the four clubs look set to reignite their battle when the January window opens.
The Serie A champions are willing to offer around £5.6 million for Llorente’s services in January according to Goal.com, an offer that may well be accepted given the proximity of the end of his contract with Bilbao and the fact he could leave in the summer on a free transfer.
Juve have been keen on landing a new striker for some time now and have been hot on the tail of Llorente, whose potential arrival in Turin would likely spell the end of Alessandro Matri or Nicklas Bendtner’s time with the club.
Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool have all appeared short of attacking options so far this term and could bolster their attacking ranks in the winter window.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has only Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor to lead the line at White Hart Lane, while Gunners chief Arsene Wenger may go in search of a genuine replacement for Robin van Persie.
While there are signs summer acquisition Olivier Giroud is finding his feet at the Emirates Stadium, the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa last weekend suggests the north London club are still lacking firepower – a problem that will be accentuated when Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho leave for the African Cup of Nations.
Liverpool’s lack of options in attack following the departure of Andy Carroll are well documented, with Luis Suarez the Anfield club’s only real goal threat at present.
Fabio Borini arrived on Merseyside in the summer but is currently injured, while the lack of new arrivals on transfer deadline day in August left Reds boss Brendan Rodgers frustrated.