Bilbao warn Man City over Llorente fee

Athletic Bilbao have told Manchester City to forget about the idea of signing striker Fernando Llorente on the cheap, insisting that if the Spain international does move on this summer, it will be for a hefty fee, ESPN has reported.

Bilbao are understood to be insistent that Llorente will not leave for anything less than the price stipulated by the release clause in his contract, which ESPN puts at €36m, just under £30m by today’s conversion rate. The Bilbao president, Josu Urrutia, said the club could not accept anything less than Llorente designated release clause due to pressure from the supporters, who would be unhappy to see the forward leave.

ESPN add that Llorente has attracted attention from parties other than City, with Bilbao’s La Liga rivals Real Madrid also expressing an interest in the 27-year-old. But ESPN believe Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has identified Llorente as a replacement for Edin Dzeko, who could be sold this summer.

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