The President of the Basque Nationalist Party has urged Fernando Llorente to be ‘honest’ about his desire to leave Athletic Bilbao.
Inigo Urkullu, head of the EBB del PNV, who are the largest political party in the Basque area where Bilbao is situated, has waded into the debate surrounding the striker.
Llorente was confirmed by President Josu Urrutia last week to have refused to extend his contract with the club beyond next summer, prompting the expectation that he will be sold this transfer window, with Juventus heavily linked.
Urrutia explained that the club had ‘done everything possible to meet Llorente’s economic demands’ and Urkullu has now suggested that the player must be ‘honest with the fans’ as they ‘need to know’ his reasons for wanting to leave.
“He has to be honest. I think that the mistake of a player like Llorente is the inability to rise up to the circumstances at the right time with the necessary explanations,” the political figure stated today on radio.
Llorente has been with Athletic, who have strong links to the Basque Community, since signing as a youth in 1996 and in recent days has faced both abusive protests from some fans urging him to leave and encouragement from others asking that he stay.