• Premier League

Llorente set to snub Premier League for Serie A

ESPN staff
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Arsenal target Fernando Llorente, right, is likely to stay in southern Europe © Getty Images
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Fernando Llorente seems set to snub the Premier League in favour of a move to Serie A champions Juventus.

Llorente is out of contract with current club Athletic Bilbao in the summer and a number of English clubs had been linked with the striker including Arsenal and Liverpool.

But the 27-year-old, who scored 17 goals in La Liga last season and helped his team to the Europa League final, is unlikely to be showcasing his sought-after talents in the Premier League in the near future.

Juventus have jumped to the head of the queue and their interest in the player was confirmed in a statement released via Athletic's website on Thursday.

"Juventus Football Club have contacted Athletic Club on January 3 2013 to communicate that, knowing Fernando Llorente finishes his spell with our club on June 30 2013, they will begin negotiations with the player to add him to their squad."

As a result of Llorente's long-standing desire to leave the Basque club, he has only played a bit-part role this season and Athletic have struggled - only winning two of their opening nine Primera Division matches and being knocked out of the Europa League.

A cut-price deal for the €35 million-rated player to another club is still possible, although Athletic president Josu Urrutia has repeatedly claimed that he would not be sold under any circumstances.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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