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Juve open Llorente talks

Juventus have confirmed that they are in negotiations with Athletic Bilbao over the transfer of Fernando Llorente.

• Llorente set to leave Bilbao

Llorente, 27, has entered the final year of his contract and has signalled to Athletic that he does not intend to sign an extension, with reports suggesting he is unhappy with Marcelo Bielsa's management.

It remains unclear whether Athletic would be prepared to retain Llorente for the final year of his deal and allow him to leave on a free transfer next summer - Bielsa recently said that he wants "the best for the team, the player and the club" - but it appears Juve are struggling to agree terms.

Having seemingly failed in their attempts to land the likes of Robin van Persie, Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Stevan Jovetic, Juve are believed to be willing to pay around €20 million for the Spain striker, but director general Beppe Marotta says talks have been difficult.

"We are negotiating to bring Llorente here, but it's not an easy process because Athletic don't want to sell him," Marotta told Tuttosport.

AS reports that Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Llorente but that the player is seeking Champions League football.


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