Liverpool face competition in bid to land Juventus striker for Fernando Llorente
Published 11/07/2015 | 12:11
Liverpool may have designs on signing Juventus striker Fernando Llorente - but they face a fight for his services, according to reports in Italy.
Llorente's future has been a matter of conjecture all summer, with the player apparently unsettled at the Serie A champions and wanting more regular first team football.
That prospect appears unlikely if he remains at Juve, who have already signed Paulo Dybala from Palermo and Mario Mandzukic from Atletico Madrid this summer.
His brother and agent confirmed this week that he was open to leaving the club, saying: "Fernando wants to be playing regularly so that he doesn’t lose his place in the Spain national team. Nothing can be excluded."
That was good news for Liverpool, who have been considering Llorente alongside Christian Benteke as they aim to add more firepower in time for next season; the bad news is that they are not alone in wanting to secure his signature.
Monaco, Porto and Sevilla are also in the running to sign him, according to Corriere dello Sport, so the most likely prospect appears a bidding war between the four clubs.
Juventus may try to hold out for as much as €20 million (£14.3 million) for Llorente but will probably let him go for less, given his age (30) and their stock of other forwards.
Signing a player like Llorente would represent something of a departure for Liverpool, who have tended to buy young players who could have a sell-on value since being bought by Fenway Sports Group.
But Brendan Rodgers has argued for more experienced quality to strengthen his squad: he has already brought in 29‑year-old James Milner and the Brazilian Firminio to slot straight into his side for next season.
Liverpool's preferred option would be to sign Benteke, but with Aston Villa insistent that the Belgium international will only leave if a club triggers the £32.5million escape clause, the deal has proved difficult to advance.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is joining Stoke, according to reports.
Sky Sports say the ex-England international - who left Anfield on a free transfer at the end of last season - will move to the Britannia Stadium after agreeing personal terms on Friday night.
And Liverpool's decision to appoint Gary McAllister as a coach at the club for next season has been endorsed by former defender Jamie Carragher.