Athletic Bilbao are set to lose their star striker for nothing in the summer after the Spain international confirmed he would leave the Basque side on a free transfer.
Athletic Bilbao’s star striker Fernando Llorente said Tuesday he will leave the club at the end of this season, with Juventus, Arsenal and Chelsea leading the race for his signature.
Spain international Llorente, 27, told a news conference he would leave when his contract expires on June 30, stating that it was nothing to do with money: “As to whether it is an economic matter, it clearly is not.”
He said Athletic had made him a great offer to renew his contract but he decided to leave after “lies” in the press that he was talking to other clubs led to fans whistling him when he played.
“The press hasn’t helped much in terms of renewing my contract. That is one of the things that has caused a bad atmosphere for me on the pitch and that is what has prompted me not to renew,” he said. “That and a lot of other things.”
He said he was focussed on playing for the Basque side for the rest of the season regardless of the upcoming winter transfer window and despite being left on the bench a lot amid the recent speculation about his future.
Arsenal, Juventus and Chelsea have been strongest linked with the Spain star, with each desperate for a top level goalscorer to boost their attacking prowess.
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