Juventus Transfers: Fernando Llorente's Bitter Situation at Athletic Bilbao

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentOctober 12, 2012

Juventus Transfers: Fernando Llorente's Bitter Situation at Athletic Bilbao

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    Athletic Bilbao's 27-year-old centre-forward Fernando Llorente has been courted by Juventus since the summer. 

    Juve general director Beppe Marotta told Tuttosport (via ESPN FC): "If he (Llorente) remains on the market then he is a player that we are interested in. In January we will evaluate the whole situation."

    This article is for Bianconeri supporters wondering how Llorente's season has gone for Bilbao. 

Fernando Llorente an Alien to Those Who Once Loved Him

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    Fernando Llorente wishes he could have exited in the summer like his compatriot Javi Martínez, who has avoided the awkward experience of being vilified by supporters during training and match day. 

    Llorente probably has a calendar in his room that is counting down the days to freedom, when he hopes to force a move to Juventus in the January transfer window. 

    Sid Lowe at Guardian.co.uk wrote:

    Llorente, whose contract is up at the end of this season, will not sign a new deal and wants to go to Juventus. Fans have whistled and booed him at training sessions and graffiti has appeared on the window of the club shop. 

Athletic Bilbao's Stubbornness

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    Athletic Bilbao handled Javi Martínez's situation expertly and the end result was €40 million.

    With Fernando Llorente's contract expiring, Bilbao should have sold him in the summer. Instead, they've weakened their leverage by allowing the transfer saga to extend into the January transfer window. 

    Beppe Marotta has made it clear that Juventus doesn't have financial muscle (via EuroSport.com): "Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend €12m on Verratti. It’s the same old story of financial restraints."

    It's getting to the point where it seems Bilbao are more content with letting Llorente experience the abuse from the supporters than securing a lucrative transfer fee. 

Fernando Llorente's Bitter Experience

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    Athletic Bilbao's harsh treatment of Fernando Llorente has essentially shut down any chance of the club inflating his transfer fee in January. 

    Aritz Aduriz now leads the line for Bilbao, while Llorente warms the benches. 

    When his number is called, he jogs onto the field and mopes around until the game finishes.

    It's a sad sight to see a footballer lose all motivation to contribute. In a way, it's like Yann M'Vila's pitiful performances for Rennes in recent memory. 

    Llorente hasn't helped his cause by walking out of training after a heated argument with boss Marcelo Bielsa. 

What Fernando Llorente Adds to Juventus

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    If you're a Juventus supporter who is slightly concerned with Fernando Llorente's performances of late, erase it from your memory. 

    Llorente is in a lose-lose situation.

    He doesn't want to stay at the club. Athletic Bilbao's management wants him to rot on the bench. Marcelo Bielsa is sticking by Aritz Aduriz. Oh, and most of the fans are taking out their frustrations on Llorente.

    When Llorente is in the right frame of mind, he's an elite forward. 

    He's so strong in the air and is comfortable with the ball at his feet. He toyed with Manchester United's defence last season. He played some wonderful passes in a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon, too.

    Juve will be getting value-for-money should they sign Llorente at a cut-price in the January transfer window. 


    Please read Could Immobile Be Juve's Future Saviour?

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com

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