Strikers come at an expensive price, and Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao is no different. Manchester City, who seem to very interested in acquiring his services, have been told by Llorente’s club that his release clause of £30 million must be met in order to obtain a move from Basque country.
Llorente has yet to play a minute in Euro 2012, despite having a very succesful season in Spain and the Europa League with Bilbao, scoring 29 goals in 53 matches for the club, reaching the Europa League final. The 27 year old has scored 101 goals for Athletic over the past five seasons, and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid over the last couple of seasons.
But Manchester City might be the more viable option, as price never seems to be any kind of deterrent. With Edin Dzeko probably looking for a new home this summer (Bayern Munich perhaps), City are in the market for a new striker, preferably one who can add to Sergio Aguero and the highly volatile and unpredictable Mario Balotelli. Llorente seems to be shaped in the same mold of Edin Dzeko – A tall, true no.9, which isn’t something usually seen among the Spanish ranks.
Like every good and trained player, Llorente has only one thing to say regarding the rumors about a possible transfer from Bilbao – Now I am only focused on the national side, my situation with Athletic has not changed. Last season, Llorente signed a contract extension to prevent him from walking out with the club getting any sort of payment.
But Bilbao players are hard to pry away from their club, with the best of them rarely leaving the club. Patriotism and what not, although Llorente for some reason, maybe because of the abundance of rumors surrounding him, seems like someone who might not be in the Bilbao red and white stripes forever.
As with every decent + Spanish player, and Llorente is much more than that, possibly the best striker in Spain in the absence of David Villa (although Del Bosque doesn’t seem to think so), Real Madrid are also in the midst of the rumor mill. How true and how willing are they in signing Llorente remains to be seen. Maybe their name is linked just to up the ante and demand a higher price.