Juventus have confirmed that Fernando Llorente will join the club in the summer after reaching an agreement with the Atheltic Bilbao striker.

Llorente has agreed a four-year deal to join the Serie A club on a free transfer when his contract with Bilbao expires in the summer.

A statement on Juventus’ website read: “Juventus can confirm that Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente will join the club on 1 July 2013.

“The 27-year-old has agreed terms on a four-year deal and will move to Turin when his Athletic Bilbao contract expires at the end of the current season.

The Spanish forward has been linked with numerous Premier League clubs in the past, including Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool in particular appear short of attacking options and were said to be keen on landing the 27-year-old.

Reports from Spain before Christmas offered hope to the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham after it wass uggested that Llorente was keen on a move to the Premier League. However the fact that neither club, or indeed Liverpool, could guarantee him Champions League football next season is said to have swayed his decision.

Juventus will play Celtic in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, having progressed from the group stages along with Shakhtar Donetsk at the expense of Chelsea.

Llorente’s departure from Bilbao has been expected for some time. The striker turned down the offer of a contract extension at the San Mames stadium last summer, and could still join Juventus this month if the two clubs can agree a fee.

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