‘I thought I’d retire at Athletic’

Juventus-bound Fernando Llorente has admitted that he did not expect to be leaving Athletic Bilbao so soon in his career.

The 28-year-old agreed a deal back in January to move across to Juventus this summer on Bosman, having confirmed last August that he would not be renewing his contract at San Mames.

Even so, the striker reflected that he did not foresee his own departure.

“I’m sorry to be leaving Athletic, I do not deny that. Why should I lie? This is something I did not see coming,” Llorente told RTVE today.

“I did not think that my adventure with this club would end so quickly, in fact I thought that I would be here until the end of my career.

“But my future is now at Juventus and I expect a fantastic journey. Their project is important and the team is fantastic. Juventus want to take one step closer to the Champions League.

“A lot of the squad are internationals and that underlines the level of the team.”

Llorente could be joined at the Juventus Stadium by fellow Spanish League striker Gonzalo Higuain.

“I don’t know which other players will also arrive in Turin.

“There is a lot of talk about Higuain. If that deal comes off then I believe he will be a great signing.”

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