Athletic Bilbao’s new director of football has confirmed the club’s interest in seeing several of their former players return to the club, including Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, and Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez.
Their main target appears to be Llorente, now 33 years of age, who has scored just nine goals in the Tottenham colours and looks set to make a move away from north London this year.
Having already made 327 appearances for Bilbao, they appear to be an obvious suitor for the Spaniard’s talents and they now seem set to table an offer for their former striker after their director of football, Rafa Alkorta, revealed his interest in Llorente on Spanish radio.
“We are interested in Javi Martinez, Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente… all of them interest us,” Alkorta told Cadena SER, via Sky Sports.
Bilbao have struggled for goals this term, as only four teams in Spain’s top tier have scored fewer goals than Gaizka Garitano’s men this season. This means that they may look to bolster their attacking front in a bid for La Liga survival.
However, Bilbao operate under a strict club policy which states that they can only sign players who are either born in the Basque country of Spain or have come through the youth system of a club located there.
Llorente fits this bill, and, having already scored 111 goals for the Spanish side, 88 of which came in La Liga, he appears a ready-made option for goal-starved Bilbao.
Furthermore, the Spaniard may have just added another comma to his asking price after notching a third-round hat-trick in Spurs’ recent FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers.
With Llorente having played second-fiddle to Harry Kane for the duration of his Tottenham tenure, the former Bilbao man could be tempted to call time on his one-and-a-half year stay in the capital in search of more regular game time.
Tottenham welcome a rejuvenated Manchester United side to Wembley next weekend for a crucial Premier League clash, after Mauricio Pochettino’s men beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.