Llorente ‘staying for season’

Fernando Llorente will ‘obviously’ be staying with Athletic Bilbao until the end of the season, says teammate Ander Iturraspe.

The Spain striker has refused to renew his contract with the club and it expires next summer. However, the club have so far indicated that they will only sell him, even in January, for his full buyout clause.

“It is obvious that he is going to stay until the end of the season, he is a team player who tries his best. The club has made a decision and will remain strong,” midfielder Iturraspe told reporters today, before also anticipating that Llorente will start in the suspended Aritz Aduriz’ place next weekend.

“He is a team player, he’s training as any other player, he has no injury, he can play.”

Llorente declined to attend Athletic’s Press conference on Monday, just as Iturraspe declined to comment on why.

“That is a topic for Fernando to answer and I have nothing to say, it is nothing to do with me at all.

“Such issues are not involved with me, ask him. It was his decision not to go, I answer what I am asked, I answer honestly and if I tell you that this will not affect things on the pitch then it is because that is true.

“We overcome all odds, this is a story that has not had the greatest impact on the team, the game is above all this.”

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