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Bielsa determined to keep Llorente

Marcelo Bielsa says he will do everything in his power to keep Fernando Llorente at Athletic Bilbao.

La Liga side Athletic have been accused of blackmailing the 27-year-old by players’ union FIFPro, who claim the club refused to play him until he signed a new contract.

But Athletic coach Bielsa has insisted the club are doing everything above board in their negotiations over the player’s future.

“What we are doing is perfectly legitimate and sincere, we are not blackmailing the player,” Bielsa told Terra.

Llorente’s contract is up at the end of this season and he has been linked with a move to Juventus, but Bielsa wants the striker to commit his long-term future to the Basque outfit.

“I would be pleased if we could arrange a new deal with Llorente,” he said.

“I want him to remain with Athletic Bilbao for the rest of his career.”

Llorente has made eight appearances in La Liga this term, finding the net once.

Sat 1 December, 2012
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