Llorente still on Juve’s radarAgence France-Presse . Milan
Italian champions Juventus are set to continue their bid to sign Spain striker Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao in January, reports said on Thursday.
Juventus signed Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner on loan two weeks ago, but the Danish international is considered a stop-gap solution for the Bianconeri and has yet to make an appearance.
There is a feeling the Turin-based giants still require a top-drawer striker as they look to defend their league title and challenge in the Italian Cup and Champions League, having already won the Italian Super Cup in August.
Sports dailies Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport both reported on Thursday that Llorente remains Juve’s top target, although they are also said to be keeping close tabs on Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic.
While rejecting suggestions the club would look to lure Lazio centre-back Modibo Diakite to the club, director general Beppe Moratta suggested Juve are set to make a move for a big-name player in the winter transfer window.
‘We are regularly victims of the most outrageous headlines, many of which are obviously incorrect,’ said Moratta, who spoke to journalists at the inauguration of the Juventus College educational centre.
‘For example, Diakite is a Lazio player and he won’t be coming to Juventus.’
He added: ‘We will continue to monitor the most interesting players and in January we will decide whether or not to make a move.’
The bid to sign Llorente, meanwhile, could be given momentum if reports are confirmed that Fiorentina have included an ‘anti-Juve’ clause into the contract of Montenegrin forward Jovetic.
Fiorentina recently looked set to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute.
La Viola openly blamed Juventus’s late show of interest in the Bulgarian for scuppering the deal.
On Jovetic, Moratta would only say: ‘He could be a very useful player for us, but it will be up to Fiorentina to decide his future.’
Whether Bendtner will get a chance for Juventus soon remains to be seen, although Moratta says he has impressed Juve coach Antonio Conte in training.
‘The first judgment of Conte is very positive,’ added Moratta.
‘He’s young and wants to do well.’
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