Fernando Llorente To Join Juventus In July

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Fernando Llorente will join Italian champions Juventus at the end of the season from Athletic Club Bilbao.

Llorente, 27, clarified in November last year he would not sign a new deal with Athletic, with his current deal set to expire this summer.

Juve confirmed earlier this month they would be holding talks with the Spain striker, and with a week to go until the transfer window shuts have reached a pre-contract agreement.

A statement on juventus.com read: "Juventus can confirm that Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente will join the club on July 1, 2013.

"The 27-year-old has agreed terms on a four-year deal and will move to Turin when his Athletic Bilbao contract expires at the end of the current season."

fernando llorente

Llorente scored twice against Manchester United last season

Despite leading Serie A by five points, the Bianconeri lack an outstanding frontman to lead their attacking line.

Coach Antonio Conte has struggled to forge an effective strikeforce from a pool of Mirko Vučinić, Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri, with on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner failing to make an impact due to injury.

Arsenal and Liverpool had both been linked with the strapping Llorente, who did not feature at Euro 2012 for La Roja despite an impressive Primera Liga campaign.

Llorente has made 334 appearances for Athletic, scoring 104 goals in all competitions with his best return coming during the 2011-12 campaign when he struck 29 times.

Athletic reached the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals last year but were comprehensively beaten by Atlético Madrid and Barcelona in both ties.

Llorente, who is no longer considered a first-choice striker with Athletic was involved in a training ground row with Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa in October and has been subjected to jeers from his own fans after he confirmed he would not sign an extension.

He has scored seven goals in 21 appearances for Spain and was included in the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

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