Wednesday October 3 2012
Sparta kick Bilbao when they're down

Defender Jiri Jarosik says Sparta Prague intend to fully exploit Athletic Bilbao's problems in the Europa League tomorrow.

Los Leones have been in poor form domestically and began their European campaign with a 1-1 draw against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.

Matchday two sees them travel to Prague to take on Jarosik and Sparta, who lost their opener 2-1 in Lyon.

“Bilbao have problems, and there will be an opportunity to delve into the wound,” Jarosik stated in a pre-match press conference.

Monday October 1 2012
Bielsa expels Llorente from training

According to El Correo, Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa sent Fernando Llorente to the changing rooms during training on Monday.

Los Leones lost the Basque derby with Real Sociedad 2-0 at the weekend and it is understood that the Argentine had strong words for his players in the morning session, particularly Spanish international striker Llorente.

Sunday September 23 2012
Arsenal join push for Llorente

According to a report in Metro, Arsenal are the latest club to join the race to land Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente.

The Spanish international is out of contract next summer and has refused the offer of a new one at San Mames, something that has alerted a host of Europe’s top clubs with the Gunners the latest to join the list.

Saturday September 22 2012
Iraola delighted with Llorente return

Athletic Bilbao vice-captain Andoni Iraola says he is delighted to see Fernando Llorente back in first-team action with the Basques.

Llorente has been in dispute with Los Leones after refusing the offer of a contract extension, but came off the bench in both the 3-3 draw at Espanyol last week and Thursday’s 1-1 stalemate with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona at San Mames.

However, Iraola hopes the Spanish international will have a much bigger part to play against Malaga on Sunday.

Friday September 21 2012
Bielsa bemoans Bilbao luck

Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa blamed his side’s bad luck in the 1-1 Europa League draw with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona at San Mames.

The Basques had a host of chances to have won the game but failed to advantage against the Israelis, and Bielsa was left to rue the ones that got away.

“We dominated the game, had loads of attempts at goal and hardly gave them a chance. The difference between the teams was so great that I’ll have to go away and analyse it.

Monday September 17 2012
Llorente unsure of Bilbao future

Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente maintains he is still unsure of his future at San Mames.

The Spanish international came off the bench to score in Sunday’s 3-3 draw at Espanyol following a summer during which he has refused the offer of a contract extension, yet he remains unclear about where he will be playing his football next season.

“My immediate future is with Athletic and I will try to score as many goals as possible for this club,” he told a Press conference.

Thursday September 6 2012
Isma Lopez: Bilbao fans will help us

Athletic Bilbao striker Isma Lopez feels the fans will help Los Leones come through the club’s disappointing start to the season.

The Basques got off the mark with a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday, following a 5-3 home defeat to Real Betis on the opening day and a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Atletico Madrid the following week.

Monday September 3 2012
Llorente 'could change his mind'

Josu Urrutia has seemingly confirmed that Fernando Llorente will be reintroduced to first-team affairs at Athletic Bilbao: “he could still change his mind.”

The striker was frozen out of first team duty during pre-season and into the 2012-13 campaign after informing Urrutia of his intention to not renew his contract beyond its expiry in June 2013.

However, recent days have seen him pulled back into the senior squad for training and he only missed out on a call-up to the weekend squad to face Real Valladolid through a hamstring injury.

Sunday August 19 2012
Juventus up Llorente offer

According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus have upped their offer for Fernando Llorente to €18m.

The Italians are understood to have had an initial bid of €16m rejected by the Basques, although both proposals fall way short of the €36m rescission clause in the player’s contract that Bilbao are demanding.

Llorente has turned down the offer of a new contract at San Mames and is widely expected to leave the club before the end of the summer transfer window.

Friday August 17 2012
Gurpegui eager for La Liga start

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Carlos Gurpegui says he is eager for La Liga to start so all transfer talk can be forgotten.

The Basque club has been the subject of much rumour and speculation over the summer concerning the futures of Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez, yet captain Gurpegui insists he cannot wait for the transfer market to end and is looking forward to the opening fixture against Real Betis.

“I want the market to end and the League to begin so we can focus solely on sport, because there is an exciting season ahead.

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