Bielsa: Why I banished Llorente

Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa has played down his training ground dispute with Fernando Llorente.

The striker was sent away from training on Monday with some outlets reporting a heated argument between him and the Argentine Coach.

“I instructed him to retire before the end,” said Bielsa in the Press conference before Los Leones Europa League meeting with Sparta Prague tomorrow.

“I decided that his contribution was not required and it was not appropriate to insist. If that indicates conflict, then it is indeed a conflict.

“I won't say it's common and happens every day, but I did the same with Javi Martinez and Fernando Amorebieta last season. The mood is not the best, but that does mean we're missing unity.”

Bielsa nonetheless confirmed that Aritz Aduriz will continue to start ahead of Llorente in Prague, explaining that the matter is not personal.

“That he isn't playing is a situation linked to the fact that Fernando had four months without regular football activity. He was inactive after the Euros, then had a contractual disagreement with the club, then had an injury.”

Last year's Europa League runners up, Athletic are hoping for their first win of this year's competition against Sparta tomorrow night.

Tags Bielsa Llorente