Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente joined Tottenham from Swansea on deadline day. Getty

Fernando Llorente has claimed that he decided to join Tottenham Hotspur over Chelsea on deadline day after falling "in love" with Mauricio Pochettino through a telephone conversation held on 30 August.

The former Swansea striker was expected to join Chelsea as Antonio Conte already tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window.

The Italian boss already coached Llorente at Juventus and wanted the Spaniard to serve as a back-up for Alvaro Morata at the Premier League champions.

However, Tottenham eventually won the race on deadline day in a deal worth around £12.1m.

Llorente admits that he thought that he was "going to Chelsea" but the 2010 World Cup winner suggested that Spurs eventually pushed harder than the Blues to strike a deal with Swansea.

"Yes, it was a difficult decision that I had to take at the last moment. Conte, whom I admired since I was with him at Juventus, showed a great interest in me since last January. But Chelsea did not finish the deal with Swansea," Llorente said to Marca.

"With Tottenham everything was easier and faster. Pochettino called me on August 30 and I fell in love. I was filled with enthusiasm by his words and his sports project ... I thought I was going to Chelsea but Tottenham were more firm in their intention to sign me. They reached an agreement very quickly with Swansea and despite all of those difficult circumstances [with Chelsea], I decided to come to Tottenham."

"I know him [Pochettino], I know how he worked at Espanyol, Southampton, and how he has changed Tottenham in three years. This club has a lot of stability, they are a family and the project is spectacular, it does not stop growing. I'm very happy to be here."

Llorente was speaking to Marca ahead of Tottenham's trip to Spain to face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday (17 October).

The Spaniard admits that Spurs will face a massive challenge to beat the Champions League winners but backs his side to upset the odds and get a positive result at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"It's very complicated. They have achieved stability and are an impressive team. Years ago they always had impressive individuals, but in the last four seasons they have won three Champions Leagues and are now a great squad. They are a very difficult team to beat but with Juventus we did so in the 'semis' a few years ago. Against them you have to have control, it is not worth stealing the ball. Madrid kills you because it has more quality and effectiveness than you, but always gives you options," Llorente added.

"We should play our very best game, especially defensively and not neglect the spaces in behind, because Real Madrid have lethal players and that's why you have to play with great precision: against Madrid you can not miss those silly balls in the middle, for example."

Real Madrid have the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and co but Llorente warns that Tottenham will have their own threat in Harry Kane's impressive form, with the England international having scored nine goals in his last six games.

"Among the great teams in Europe, where Tottenham are included, there are not that many differences. They are very even," the Tottenham striker said.

"We have very good players, capable of playing very good football. With Harry Kane, everything he touches turns to gold. And he is very well protected."

Llorente fractured his arm at the end of June while on holiday and is yet to score a goal for Tottenham. However, the striker netted 15 goals in 33 appearances for Swansea last season and is confident that Spurs fans will soon see him replicating that form.

"Get back to last year's level as soon as possible and improve on my number of goals. It is time for Tottenham to win a title, and since I have arrived I am convinced that this year we can do it," the former Swansea striker concluded.