Report: Juve sound out Llorente

Juventus have begun negotiations with the representatives of Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente in hopes of signing the striker in January.

Football News: Fernando Llorente, Athletic Bilbao

By staff

Despite losing their first Serie A game of the season to Inter Milan last weekend, Juventus retained their position at the top of the league table. However, the defending champions have been less than impressive in this campaign, often relying on last-gasp goals to turn games in their favour after failing to convert the bulk of their opportunities.

According to La Gazetta Dello Sport, the club's officials are growing increasingly concerned with the team's struggles upfront. A statistical analysis has revealed that 17 of the 31 strikes recorded by the Bianconeri so far have come from midfield, with forward quartet Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri contributing a mere 12 goals between them. As such, Juventus have made the purchase of a prolific striker their priority in the upcoming transfer window, with Llorente heading their shopping list.

Bilbao are believed to be open to offers in the region of six to seven million Euros for the Spaniard, who's current contract is set to expire at the end of the season, as Llorente had indicated earlier in the summer that he was not interested in extending his stay. Media outlets in Italy and Spain report that Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has already made contact with the player's representatives.

Should the move for Llorente fall through, the Bianconeri are expected to turn to AS Roma duo Mattia Destro and Pablo Osvaldo, with the Giallorossi manager Zdenek Zeman open to a player plus cash deal involving Matri or Quagliarella.

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