Juventus vie with Arsenal for Lion King Fernando Llorente
Meanwhile another Spanish star, David Silva, agrees to stay at Man City on a new £200,000-a-week deal
THE RACE to sign the Athletic Bilbao sharpshooter Fernando Llorente is hotting up. Arsenal and Liverpool are known to be tailing the Spanish international striker and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has expressed his intent to sign the 27-year-old come January’s transfer window.
Now Talksport claims that Juventus are also eyeing up the man they call El Rey Leon – Spanish for The Lion King - and are unlikely to be deterred by the £28m asking price.
Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta is quoted as saying: “He's a player we are interested in.” Asked if the club intended to make Bilbao an offer in the New Year, Marotta replied: “We'll see if he's still on the market in the winter."
Manchester City are expecting to announce some good news in the coming days. According to goal.com, the Sky Blues have persuaded David Silva to sign on for another five-year stint at the Etihad. In return for his loyalty, City will pay the Spaniard £200,000-a-week in wages.
Goal.com claims that City officials “have held three meetings” with Silva’s people in recent weeks and a final deal is close to being announced. The club was stirred into action by reports linking Real Madrid with a bid for the 26-year-old the moment his current contract expires in 2014. The new deal, which will see Silva’s earning increase from £140,000, will tie him to the Sky Blues until 2017. Or that’s what they hope.
Giuseppe Rossi seems to be taking his lead from Andrew Marr by having his fingers in more than just one pie, so to speak. The 25-year-old Villarreal striker is wanted by both Tottenham and Roma and for the moment the Italian international is trying to keep both parties happy.
“Roma would be an intriguing option for him," said his agent, Federico Pastorello, in an interview with Sky Sport Italia. However, when asked about the interest of Tottenham, Pastorello retorted: “The Premier League?... We won't rule anything out.”
Rossi is currently recovering from a knee operation but is expected to make a full recovery by early 2013.
Meanwhile reports linking Russian club Anzhi with a move for Cristiano Ronaldo appear overblown. The future of the peevish Portuguese crowd-pleaser remains up in the air after he admitted he was down in the dumps at Real Madrid, but Anzhi have categorically stated they won’t be making a bid for the world’s richest player.
Anzhi sporting director Roberto Carlos, who was seen loitering around the Bernabeu at the weekend, told Spanish rag AS that he wasn’t in town to chase Ronaldo. "We haven't come to sign Cristiano,” explained Carlos. “We are, however, thinking about signing some quality players for next season.” He added: “Cristiano shouldn't worry, people like him a lot."