Athletic won’t be selling Llorente

Athletic Bilbao President Josu Urrutia has made clear that a January sale for Fernando Llorente is out of the question.

The striker informed the club of his decision to not extend his contract beyond June 2013 during last summer.

Initially frozen out of first-team matters and still in the process of reintegration under Marcelo Bielsa after not leaving the club, the Spain international is still strongly linked with a mid-season transfer out.

However, Urrutia does not see this as a likely scenario.

“At Athletic we must combine the economic, sporting and philosophical elements,” began the President at a Press conference today.

“I have read and heard a lot of things about the future of Fernando Llorente, but none of them are true.

“There is nothing new from our perspective – we do not want to get rid of him, he is an interesting player. The team is more competitive with Fernando.”

Urrutia also made clear that he still expects the striker to reconsider his decision and stay with the Basques beyond this season.

The President also looked to defend Markel Susaeta, who received unwanted attention for his Press conference held in midweek whilst on international duty with Spain.

“I believe in the player and he explained about the interpretations regarding his statements. I believe in him, he has again explained, once again what he said was understood differently and I have no more to say, I would pay attention to what he says because I believe in him.”

Tags Arsenal Juventus Llorente Urrutia