Italian giants Juventus have confirmed their interest in Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente amid reports that the Spain international has refused to sign a new contract with Los Leones, ESPN Soccernet reports.
“We are negotiating to bring Llorente here, but it’s not an easy process because Athletic don’t want to sell him,” Juve director general Giuseppe “Beppe” Marotta told Tuttosport.
El Rey León bagged 30 goals and four assists in 61 appearances (47 starts) for club and country last season.
Llorente has one year remaining on his current deal, which means that he could leave the Estadio San Mamés on a free transfer next season.
Now then, according to Athletic Bilbao club president Josu Urrutia, Llorente has informed him that he will not sign a contract extension with Bilbao, Sky Sports understands.
“Ten days ago I received a call and his agents told me that there was no financial reason for him to continue (with Athletic), but what was even more important for him was to have the guarantee of challenging for championships and success,” revealed Urrutia.
With that said, Bilbao rejected the Bianconeri’s initial €16million offer for the Spanish talisman, and are reportedly not willing to let Llorente go for anything less than his €36 million buy-out clause.
At the moment, Los Leones’ best option would be to sell their wantaway forward this summer, and invest in another young striker.
Manchester City striker John Guidetti is a potential replacement for Llorente, with the Premier League champions willing to sell their 20-year-old Swedish starlet for £6 million, according to ESPN Soccernet.
The Sweden international spent last season on loan at Feyenoord Rotterdam, where he netted 18 league goals in just 17 appearances (15 starts) for the Dutch Eredivisie runners-up.
Guidetti is an absolutely fantastic prospect, with many viewing him as the heir apparent to fellow Swede Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Miyaichi joins Wigan Athletic
Ryo has enjoyed back-to-back successful loan spells at Feyenoord Rotterdam (2010-11) and Bolton Wanderers (2011-12) since joining Arsenal in January 2011.
The 19-year-old starlet bagegd three goals in 12 league appearances for Feyenoord in 2011-12, while tallying one goal and two assists in 15 appearances (11 starts) in all competitions for Bolton last term.
Despite his contributions, Bolton were relegated and will play this upcoming season in the English Championship as a result.
Roberto Martinez will likely deploy Miyaichi on the left-flank, effectively replacing Chelsea-bound winger Victor Moses.
Ironically, Wigan will kick-off their 2012-13 Premier League campaign on Sunday, 19 August, when they play host to Chelsea at the DW Stadium.