Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente looks set to take up a central role on deadline day as Chelsea and Tottenham battle for his signature, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague on Twitter.
He claims that Tottenham have offered more money for the 32-year-old in a surprising late twist, after ESPN had earlier stated that Chelsea were in advanced talks with the Swans over a deadline day move from Wales to London.
Entering into the final year of his contract and having scored 15 Premier League goals last season, Llorente is clearly and understandably a player in demand. Husband experience at some of Europe’s biggest clubs, such as Juventus, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, are only likely to help convince both London clubs that he could be a valuable option to a side facing the challenge of the Champions League.
It was at Juventus that he worked under Antonio Conte, which may tip the scales in favour of a move to west London rather than north London. Playing under the Italian, Llorente thrived and had some of the best form of his career, registering 18 goals and 6 assists from 45 games.
That spell in Turin also saw him play alongside fellow Spaniard Alvaro Morata. The ex-Real Madrid man moved to Chelsea this summer and it’s expected that if Llorente joins, he will help him to adapt to the Premier League with his experience and will play alongside him as well as being his understudy. Given that no option in the Chelsea squad offers the physicality that Llorente possesses, similar to that of Diego Costa, he could get regular game time.
At Wembley, Llorente would surely play an understudy role to Harry Kane too. Given Mauricio Pochettino’s one striker system, it is hard to envisage how he would ever truely become a regular in the starting line-up unless there is an injury to Kane.
Money talks, but the opportunity to team up with several former colleagues at Stamford Bridge, including joining the sizeable Spanish contingent at Chelsea, is likely to tip the scales in favour of a move to the Blues. Even with that in mind, on deadline day anything can happen.