Athletic Bilbao striker Llorente admits Tottenham interest

Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has admitted ‘there was interest’ shown in him by Tottenham Hotspur but the London club’s offer was dismissed as he says he ‘never wanted to leave’ the Basque country: “Yes, there was interest from Tottenham but I have never wanted to leave Athletic,” the Spanish international told Marca.

Llorente was speaking after Athletic President Josu Urrutia announced he was ‘optimistic’ the 26-year-old – who scored 18 goals from 38 starts last term as Los Leones qualified for the Europa League – would sign a contract extension until June 2013.

He added: “I think things will go well but at the moment I’m in no hurry. The only thing I’m worried about is getting in shape then winning games. I’ve no idea how negotiations are going. My brother looks after that side of things and there will be plenty of time to give an answer. The holidays were a little longer this year and that has set me back a bit, but I will be back to top form shortly.”

The World Cup winner came on as a second-half substitute in Spain’s 6-0 victory over Liechtenstein in Logro

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