It is official now; Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente will join Italian giants Juventus in July, when his contract at the Spanish club expires.
One of the most talked about transfer saga is finally over. Juventus have confirmed on their official site that Spanish international Fernando Llorente will join the club in July.
Llorente’s future was in doubt since he refused to sign a contract extension at the start of this season. A host European clubs were linked with a move for the 27-year-old striker. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, PSG, Inter Milan and Zenit were all reportedly monitoring Llorente’s contract situation at the Spanish club, but Juventus were always the favourites to land him.
According to some rumours back in August, Juventus had already contacted Llorente and the Spanish striker had verbally agreed to join the Italian club back then. But it is only now that the deal has been officially announced by Juventus.
A statement on Juventus’ club website read:
“The future of Fernando Llorente is in black and white.
“The Spain international, who will be out of contract with Athletic Bilbao, has signed an agreement that will bind him to Juventus from July 1.
“The contract lasts for four years, expiring on June 30, 2017.”
This will be a big signing for the reigning Serie A champions. Antonio Conte was in desperate need of a striker as the likes of Alessandro Matri, Sebastian Giovinco, Fabio Quagliarella and Mirko Vucinic haven’t been consistent enough.
This will send out a strong signal to Juventus’ Serie A rivals as the Bianconeri have seemed to be unstoppable last season and they have continued in similar form this season as well.
The striking department was considered to be the weakest part of the Juventus squad and now with Llorente joining them, Juventus will only improve; which is a frightening thought for AC Milan and Inter.
The 27-year-old hasn’t featured much in this season’s campaign for Bilbao since falling out with Marcelo Bielsa. His decision to leave the club for free hasn’t gone down too well with the management and this has resulted in Llorente starting in just one La Liga match so far this season.
But the striker has always been prolific for the Spanish club. Llorente has scored 69 goals in the last three seasons (excluding the current season) for Bilbao in all competitions. Moreover, he is a complete package – strong in the air, good with his back facing the goal, holding up play and clinical finishing – Llorente has got it all.
What makes this transfer even more fantastic is the fact that Juventus will sign him for free!