Saturday, 18th August, 2012
Juventus face a period of tough negotiations to snap up Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao.
The Basque giants are close to selling defensive midfielder Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich for an astonishing €40M, a figure which will instantly relieve the debt burden at San Mames and allow the club’s position on Llorente to be hardened.
Llorente has refused to extend a contract which runs until 2013, with the player desperate to play in the Champions League.
Juventus want to snap up the 27-year-old, but the influx of cash from the imminent sale of Martinez will allow Athletic Bilbao to play hardball.
The Spanish side are now insisting that the Bianconeri pay Llorente’s €36M release clause should they wish to take him from the San Mames this summer.
Such a figure is well beyond reach for Juventus, who dropped out of the running for Robin van Persie due to similar financial concerns.
And so, much talking lies ahead for the Italian champions, if they are to have any chance of signing Llorente.
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