Friday, 24th August, 2012
Juventus will not pay more than €18M for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, according to Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
Llorente has just one year left on his contract at the San Mames and has refused to sign an extension, citing the desire to play Champions League football which Athletic Bilbao cannot currently offer.
The Basque side are determined not to allow the 27-year-old to leave the club for less than they feel he is worth though, regardless of his contract situation.
That has placed Juventus in a quandary, with the Old Lady keen to take the Spain international to Turin, but believing he should be bought for no more than €18M, given that he could move for free next summer.
Juventus want to sign a top notch striker to help with their forthcoming Champions League campaign, but cannot afford to wait much longer for Athletic Bilbao to soften their stance on Llorente.
The Italian champions are now seriously considering other targets, including Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic and Roma hitman Marco Borriello, who enjoyed a loan stint at the club last season.
It remains to be seen just who Juventus will snap up, but Llorente remains the preferred option in Turin, if a deal is at all possible.