Athletic Bilbao's Spanish striker Fernando Llorente has once again been linked with a move to the Emirates. The news comes afterconfirmation that Arsene Wenger has agreed terms with rival Sir Alex Ferguson over the sale of club captain Robin van Persie. The Dutchman, it is believed, will now discuss personal terms and complete a medical, before the transfer is revealed.
Llorente has already informed Bilbao he will not be renewing his contract with them and therefore is likely to be sold before the transfer window closes on 31 August. Spanish newspaper Marca now suggests that Arsenal have registered unofficial interest in the player.
"He and his agent informed us that his decision was that he would not extend his contract," Bilbao's president Urrutia said, "Essentially there was no economic reason and what had the most weight was choosing to take part in a different type of competition with more chances of success."
Italian champions Juventus, who have lost out on signing van Persie were expected to emerge as frontrunners but Arsenal could spoil the Turin club's party, as they do now have one striker's slot to be filled.
Llorente scored 29 goals in 53 appearances for Bilbao last season and reportedly has a £30m release clause in his contract that Urrutia wants to see met.
New Gunner Leads Spain to Win
New Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla scored both goals for Spain in their 2-1 win over Puerto Rico at the Estadio Juán Rámon Loubrie in Bayamón.
The world and European champions dominated the game, as expected, but were repeatedly thwarted by heroics from the hosts' goal keeper, Bill Gaudette. Cazorla's first goal was a trademark 25 yard screamer minutes before half time. The former Malaga midfielder has developed a reputation for long range shooting and his goals from midfield are likely to be valuable contributions for his new club. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico struck back through Marc Cintron, who poked the ball home after it was flicked into his path by compatriot Hector Ramos.
The hosts, who are ranked 138 by FIFA will be delighted by the result despite losing the game. To have kept the Spanish armada to just two goals is an achievement in itself, although part of the reason this was a relatively low-scoring match was Spain were often guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net.