Arsenal and Manchester United may have thought that they only needed to battle it out among themselves in the race to sign Juventus striker Fernando Llorente, but it appears that they now have some surprise competition.
According to the Daily Express, Stoke and Crystal Palace have joined the Gunners and the Red Devils in the chase for the 30-year-old, who has been told that he is surplus to requirements with the Old Lady following the summer acquisitions of Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic (via Express).
Despite the fact that he is a World Cup winner, and was part of the side that nearly clinched the treble last season, the Express report that he will be available for as little as £8.5m, which may be why the two mid-table outfits have decided to throw their name into the hat.
While joining Manchester United or Arsenal would give Llorente the opportunity to play in the Champions League next season, he is surely guaranteed more game time with either Mark Hughes’ or Alan Pardew’s men.
And both sides have shown the kind of ambition in the last few windows to suggest that they may be able to pull off what would be one of the most surprising deals of the summer.
Stoke have added the likes of former Barcelona man Bojan recently, while the Eagles managed to sign Yohan Cabaye earlier in the window.
Get upto £200 in free matched bets with bet365 - Click here to find out more