Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/4/12
Fernando Llorente is on the market, and many of Europe’s top soccer clubs are ready to descend on Spain’s Basque region. After all, it’s not every day that a world and European championship-winning striker becomes available. On Tuesday, Llorente confirmed his desire to leave Athletic Bilbao when his contract expires in June. Having spent his entire career at the Spanish club, the 27-year old says he’s ready to play in another country, according to Football Espana. “Yes, I’m leaving on 30 June,” he said ”Is the decision firm?  Yes, I took that decision when I played my first match at San Mames in the UEFA Europa League [against Slaven Koprivnica on August 2] and I saw this whole situation that had derived.” “That made me sad and I decided not to renew. I also want to try other things. I have been European and world champion, I have played for years at a high level.” Llorente, a graduate of Bilbao’s academy, made his first-team debut in January 2005. He has been an ever-present figure in the lineup since the 2007-08 season, blossoming from young talent into an international-caliber player. He was part of Spain’s FIFA World Cup winning squad in 2010, as well as its victorious Euro 2012 squad.  He scored 28 goals in all competitions for Bilbao last season. His strikes powered Bilbao to the finals of both the Europa League and the Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup). The towering striker reportedly told Bilbao officials that he wanted to leave the club last August. They took a hard stance and resisted other teams’ approaches for the player, hoping he would reconsider. The resulting tension caused his relationships with club president Josu Urrutia and manager Marcelo Bielsa to deteriorate, and he has spent most of this season on the bench. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus are among the clubs thought to be interested in signing Llorente. Manchester City was also rumored to be monitoring his situation. Llorente’s contract reportedly contains a £28 million ($45.1 million) release clause, but it’s highly unlikely any team will pay that amount for a player who is in the final year of his deal. Bilbao rejected a £14 million ($22.5 million) offer from Juventus in August. It may have to accept a lower price in January or risk losing him for free next summer. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag. Photo via Facebook/Trayecto Deportivo
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault


Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker