Liverpool willing to offer £12 million for Torres partner

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Liverpool’s owner NESV have set aside £12 million for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, although that figure could fall short of the asking price.

The Metro is reporting the Spanish side want £16 million for the 25-year-old, a price that could be a stretch too far for the American owners.

Liverpool are known to be in the market for a striker and John W Henry has revealed he is willing to splash out on one ‘world class player’ in January.

That player had looked certain to be Eden Hazard but the Belgian is now likely to stay with French club Lille until the summer.

After receiving that news, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, as well as director of football strategy Damian Comolli, has turned his attention to Llorente.

The forward knows current Anfield striker Fernando Torres, having been part of the same squad that became World and European champions last July in South Africa.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp also reportedly wants to bring Llorente to White Hart Lane but Torres is likely to convince his friend that Anfield is the right place to be at.

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, though, feels the Basque striker would be well out of Liverpool’s reach financially and that he will eventually stay in Spain.

Balague wrote on his blog: “Fernando Llorente costs 36m euros - money I don’t think Liverpool have at the moment.

“Llorente is thinking about moving on but I would favour Barcelona over Real Madrid, who will also want him. There will be a fight between those two clubs for his services in the summer.”

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