Llorente has been linked with Juventus among English clubs Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and many more across the continent. But given his contract situation, and Bilbao's reluctance to play him, is a January move to Liverpool the sensible deal all around?
Is anybody else getting tired of the name Fernando Llorente? I know I am as every other week or so it is dragged up attached to another club from across the continent. If you name a big club in Europe the likelihood is he has been linked with them.
Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Zenit St Petersburg and Benfica are all clubs I have seen him linked with on the internet at least. While the Juventus link is seemingly stronger than most it is still a mark of the clamour for his signature that any club with a potential striker shortage and anywhere up to £10 million in cash possibly available is reportedly ‘chasing’ him.
The same is apparent in England, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea all being linked with the tall marksman. So a couple of weeks ago I vowed to no longer entertain the idea of Llorente moving anywhere. Yet, as I laid down to rest I suddenly had a thought process I reluctantly couldn’t deny. It appears now that I am not a man of my word, at least when that word is given to myself, so here I am, writing about Fernando Llorente; specifically why he might sign for Liverpool.
At the moment there seems to be a real sense of national belly laughing at Liverpool’s expense, as they struggle in the transfer market and on the pitch. This prefaces the fact that many a football fan will say…
‘’Why would he want to sign for Liverpool’’
‘’But Liverpool aren’t in the Champions League’’
They aren’t and on the face of it they are struggling in the league but it brings me to my first argument as to why Fernando would choose Liverpool.
They are Liverpool FC.
Whatever anybody says about their current position to claim they are not a big club any more is simply ludicrous. Historically they are the best club this country has produced on a continental stage and while there flame flickers dim right now, the professional footballer always struggles to avoid the lure of Anfield, and this is coming from an Everton fan who should be gloating in the downfall of our more illustrious neighbours.
The rest of my reasoning is less nostalgic. Fernando Llorente, like Theo Walcott, is into the final year of his contract. Therefore come summertime he can leave his Basque home and join any club, for nothing. It is the beauty given to professional footballers by Jean-Marc Bosman and Dunquerke FC. So why would any of the aforementioned clubs, from Britain or Europe, want to spend money on a player they can get for free.
Arsene Wenger won’t want too, either will the two Roberto’s Mancini and Di Matteo. Juventus are the other serious candidate and they are doing just fine right now without him, dominating Serie A. They may all move for a Bosman deal but seeing as Llorente is not playing currently after arguments with the San Mames hierarchy about their reluctance to let him go, he isn’t worth them spending money on him January.
Liverpool on the other hand need a striker. Suarez is currently their only recognised option and with Fabio Borini breaking a bone in his foot and appearing goal-shy, Rodgers may consider getting a jump on his opposition with a January bid for the Spanish international.
Bilbao must surely have accepted they will have to let their ‘Lion King’ go, the only question they have to answer is whether they want to cash in on a project 16 years in the making or lose him on a free.
If Liverpool try steal a march in January, they might just secure an absolute bargain buy.
image: © Jack Tanner