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Spain striker feeling alienated in La Liga

Disappointed Llorente patiently awaiting new adventure

By | 12th December 2012
fernando llorente

Fernando Llorente has hinted at a potential move to the Barclays Premier League in either January or the summer, blaming the attitude of the Spanish press for his forthcoming exit from Athletic Bilbao.

Spain international Llorente has only made nine league appearances in an unsettled campaign thus far, scoring a solitary goal.

The 27-year old has been an Arsenal target in the past and given the Gunners’ need for a striker next month, he may provide a more suitable alternative than Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, whose situation is more complicated.

While the press in Spain continues to write speculatively about the player’s next destination, he remains focused on Athletic Bilbao and has asserted that he only decided to leave the club this summer when the fans began turning against him at the media’s behest.

“I made the decision at the start of the season. We were playing a Europa League qualification game at San Mames and I noticed a significant deterioration in the relationship between the fans and me due to my protracted contract negotiations,” Llorente was quoted by Sky Sports.

He added: “Everything the press had written about me in the newspapers was pejorative and they succeeded in turning the fans against me.

“It was when I became fully aware of how that situation had affected the supporters that I made the decision. Ultimately you have to bear the situation for a long time and you get tired of living like that.”

Keeping it professional

Nevertheless, frustration with his current surroundings won’t prevent Llorente from properly seeing out his contract with Athletic, as he has affirmed that professionalism is his utmost priority.

The Spaniard explained: “I think it’s normal that people talk about these things, but ultimately you have to respect the rules. I am an Athletic player and, until January 1, I cannot sign with any other team.

“I’m trying to keep it so that it is something which is managed by my brother and my representatives. That leaves me to focus in my football and help my team, Athletic, and nothing else, maintain focus.”

When asked to comment on his views on the English top flight, he stated: “I really like the Premier League and I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that it’s a league which appeals to me a lot.

“You never know. It’s one good option in terms of my future but we’ll have to wait until the end of the season to see what happens.”

Llorente has scored seven goals in 21 appearances for Spain’s dominant national team and would add significant pedigree in the air to any English team that chooses to pursue to big striker.

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