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Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente’s return to Athletic Bilbao would be a shock

The Spaniard was not popular at Athletic Bilbao when he decided to leave the club.

Mathew Nash

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Reports in Spain this week have been discussing the possibility of a return to the country for Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente.

Marca has reported that Llorente is keen on a return to Spain, with former club Athletic Bilbao and their Basque rivals Real Sociedad mentioned.

They even highlight comments from Llorente from last summer, where he admitted he would like to return to San Mames:

“It’s my home, wonderful things happened to me that will never be forgotten and Athletic will always be there, if they ever propose to come back, I’m sure I’ll think about it.”

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Llorente’s first season at Tottenham Hotspur has been fairly disappointing. After impressing with Swansea City the former Juventus and Sevilla striker joined Spurs in the summer. The fee was reported by Sky Sports to be in the region of £12.1 million. However, he has not managed to be the secondary to Harry Kane that Tottenham were after. With just five goals in 30 appearances, he looks set to be on his way out of Tottenham this summer.

A move to Athletic Bilbao would, of course, be excellent for Llorente. The 33-year-old from Pamplona spent 17 years at the club from the age of 10.

However, whilst he might want a move back to the club, which also makes sense on paper, the move would be difficult.

When Llorente decided to leave Bilbao, and rejected a new deal, back in 2012 it caused an uproar in the local press. The Tottenham striker was forced to play back-up to Aritz Aduriz and publicly fell out with manager Marcelo Bielsa and president Josu Urrutia.

(Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

After a bit-part campaign, he joined Juventus on a free transfer in July 2013. It was a deal that infuriated the passionate Bilbao fans who felt Llorente had let the club down by his exit.

It was the manner of his departure that most irked Bilbao locals. The club, who only play Basque players, rely on the sale of their finer talents to continue growing. Llorente’s decision to leave on a free was considered a slight to the club.

The Tottenham man would, of course, love a return to Bilbao. For some fans, enough time has passed for such a deal to indeed be a possibility.

But, the fact remains, many would not welcome Llorente back to the club this summer. A Basque return would look more likely to be in San Sebastian and not Bilbao.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur round-up: Striker offload, Martial U-turn and Vertonghen wanted

All the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Striker offload

Tottenham Hotspur are stepping up their attempts to remove Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente from the club.

The London Evening Standard is reporting that Tottenham are hoping to raise as much as £30 million in fees by selling the two striker flops.

Spurs signed Dutch international Vincent Janssen in the summer of 2016 but he failed to have an impact and spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce. Llorente arrived as his replacement from Swansea but also struggled.

(<> at Levi’s Stadium on July 22, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.

Martial u-turn

Tottenham target Anthony Martial will now be allowed to leave Manchester United, according to reports.

The Guardian claim that United manager Jose Mourinho has performed a U-turn and wants the unhappy Frenchman sold this summer.

Tottenham have previously been keen but United want £80 million and would rather sell to foreign parties Bayern Munich or PSG.

Vertonghen wanted

PSG are keen on Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. As reported by Les Parisien the French champions are looking to bring in a new central defender this summer who can also play in other roles.

The Belgian is the perfect option but Tottenham would seem very unlikely to sell. Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is also on their list.

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Everton

Everton round-up: Richarlison medical, Digne price-tag, Klaassen bid

All the latest news and gossip from Everton.

Mathew Nash

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Richarlison medical

Richarlison has completed his medical at Everton and is set to join on a £50 million deal from Watford in the next 24 hours.

Marco Silva worked with the Brazilian last season and was keen to reunite with him this summer.

An initial fee of £35 million is set to be paid for the player but clauses will take the overall price-tag nearer to £50 million.

That will make it a club record, ahead of last summer’s £45 million signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson.

(Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)

Digne price

There have been conflicting reports today in Spain regarding recent reports in England over Lucas Digne. The Mirror recently claimed Everton had agreed a £22 million fee for the French international.

However, that does not appear to be the case.

According to Sport, Everton have offered Barcelona just €10 million (£8.9m) for the player, with Barcelona wanting €16 million (£14.3m).

Everton currently have a delegation in Spain trying to thrash out a deal for the left-back.

Klaassen wanted

German side Werder Bremen want Everton midfielder Davy Klaassen. Kreiszeitung are reporting that the Bundesliga side are hopeful of signing the former Ajax captain in a £11.6 million deal this summer.

That would be a huge £12 million reduction on the £23.6 million Everton paid Ajax for the player last summer.

Klaassen failed to find his form at Everton and is expected to depart this summer.

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Manchester United

Jose Mourinho interest should spring Tottenham into Harry Maguire action, using Toby Alderweireld

Tottenham would be better off losing the Belgian now and bringing in England’s World Cup star.

Mathew Nash

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Manchester United are the latest team being linked with a move for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. According to The Telegraph, Jose Mourinho is a big fan of the England World Cup hero and is readying a move.

Any deal would cost in excess of £50 million. The Mirror suggest he will cost £65 million and see the futures of Marcos Rojo. Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones jeopardised.

Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with Maguire this summer and this development should jolt them into action.

Spurs could have the upper hand in this race, as they have a player Mourinho may want even more than Maguire.

(Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

United are known to be very keen on Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld. The 29-year-old’s contract stand-off with Spurs has seen him linked with an exit this summer. Tottenham are standing firm on any asking price. The latest reports suggested that fee was £75 million.

But, in the long run, allowing Alderweireld to go for cheaper could be a stroke of genius from Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Alderweireld is a far more ‘Mourinho’ player and the Manchester United boss would surely prefer him to Maguire. If Levy and Spurs allow the Belgian to go at a cheaper price it would leave the path clear to lodge their own bid for Maguire.

Tottenham would be ridding themselves of a contract rebel who, despite his brilliance, is nearly five years older than the England hero. In return, they would get Maguire, who would suit their style of play perfectly – especially if Mauricio Pochettino decides on playing a back-three.

A little convoluted? Perhaps. However, this could end up being the best case scenario for Tottenham.

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