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Bilbao forward Llorente opens talks with Juventus

updated 11:30 AM EST, Thu January 3, 2013
Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has opened talks with Juventus over a move to the Italian champions. The Spanish international will be free to move clubs when his contract expires in June. Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has opened talks with Juventus over a move to the Italian champions. The Spanish international will be free to move clubs when his contract expires in June.
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Juve long for Llorente
Sturridge leaves for Liverpool
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juventus open talks with Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente
  • The Spanish striker is out of contract at the San Mames in June
  • Llorente won both 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with the Spanish national team
  • The 27-year-old international has two goals in 16 appearances this season

(CNN) -- Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has opened talks with Juventus over a move to Italy in June, the Basque club confirmed on Thursday.

A 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 winner with Spain, Llorente is out of contract in six months time and is now free to discuss terms with clubs outside of his homeland.

"Juventus informed Athletic Club on January 3 that, knowing Fernando Llorente will end his time at our club on June 30 2013, they will begin negotiations with the player to incorporate him into their squad," read an Athletic statement.

Llorente impressed as Marcelo Bielsa's team reached the final of last season's Europa League before losing to Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid.

Whether striker Demba Ba will be playing for Newcastle after January has been the subject of intense speculation. The Senegal international is in talks with Chelsea after the London side triggered a £7 million ($11 million) release clause in his contract which became active again on January 1. It is "even (money) whether he'll stay or go," said Newcastle manager Alan Pardew. Whether striker Demba Ba will be playing for Newcastle after January has been the subject of intense speculation. The Senegal international is in talks with Chelsea after the London side triggered a £7 million ($11 million) release clause in his contract which became active again on January 1. It is "even (money) whether he'll stay or go," said Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
Ba uncertainty
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Transfer window offers rich pickings Transfer window offers rich pickings
In the absence of suspended skipper Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel captained Manchester United to European Champions League glory in 1999. United trailed Bayern Munich 1-0 heading into the 90th minute, but stunned the Germans by scoring twice in a matter of minutes to seal a famous 2-1 success. The win completed an historic Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble. In the absence of suspended skipper Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel captained Manchester United to European Champions League glory in 1999. United trailed Bayern Munich 1-0 heading into the 90th minute, but stunned the Germans by scoring twice in a matter of minutes to seal a famous 2-1 success. The win completed an historic Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble.
Great Dane
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Schmeichel\'s Champions League tips Schmeichel's Champions League tips

Read: Window shopping - football's middle men eye rich pickings

The Pamplona-born star has been in and out of the team since announcing he would not be renewing his contract with the eight-time Spanish champions and the usually prolific forward has just two goals in 16 appearances this term.

Before Juventus made their move Llorente had been linked with a move to the English Premier League, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City all rumored to have been among his suitors.

Read: Liverpool seal Sturridge deal

The 27-year-old striker has been a consistent goal threat since breaking into the Bilbao first team in 2005, scoring 115 times in 317 appearances.

After making his debut for Spain in 2008, Llorente has netted seven goals from 21 caps for La Roja.

Juventus will hope Llorente can bolster a squad which won the Italian title last year and once again sits top of the table this term.

Antonio Conte's team drew plaudits for the stylish attacking football they played to reach the knockout stages of the European Champions League.

The highlight of the Turin club's campaign was a resounding 3-0 defeat of 2012 champions Chelsea.

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