Arsenal target €12m Juventus striker as search for goal power continues
D-Day has arrived for Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, who is understood to be ready to broker a major deal on Monday, with Fernando Llorente, the Juventus and Spain striker, reported to be the surprise 'compromise' target in a £8.5 million 'swoop'.
The 30-year-old 6ft 5in striker, who moved to Serie A from Athletic Bilbao in 2013, has been monitored by Manchester United all summer but now the Daily Express reports that the Italian newspaper Tuttosport has put Arsenal in pole position for the World Cup winner's signature.
The Sun has spoken to a Juventus deepthroat. "They have made an inquiry but there is no bid yet," the source confirms. "But it is clear they are interested and it is also clear that Juventus are ready to listen."
Llorente scored only seven goals in 31 league appearances for Juve last season after falling behind his compatriot Alvaro Morata as the favoured partner for Carlos Tevez.
Arsenal have been making all the running to try to sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid with a fresh offer said to be imminent but with the France centre-forward again underlining his importance to his club's tactical system during the defeat of Manchester City in Melbourne at the weekend, The Metro reported last week that, according to respected Spanish journalist Kike Marin, Wenger has a 'secret' back-up option now believed to be Llorente.
Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was believed to be Arsenal's orignial Plan B if Benzema proved unobtainable but he has now made it plain that he is staying at the Westfalenstadion
"You can take it for granted that I am not going to waste any time thinking about giving up how happy I am at Borussia, in the city of Dortmund and with this team," he said on Saturday. "Dortmund have won the title twice in the last five years, we reached a Champions League final and had Real Madrid on the brink of elimination in the group stage when they went on to win it.
"If I didn't believe that I could win titles with Dortmund, then I wouldn't be here."