Arsenal turn to Llorente as van Persie replacement

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will turn to Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente if captain Robin van Persie leaves the Gunners this summer, the Daily Mail has claimed.

The Mail adds that Wenger wants to see the van Persie situation resolved quickly, one way or another. Either van Persie reverses his decision not to sign a new contract and stays at the club, or he stands firm, with Wenger then expected to sanction his sale before the end of the transfer window.

Wenger is keen to sign a replacement for van Persie if the Netherlands international does leave, but it would mean selling van Persie with enough time to identify the desired player and push the deal through.

Llorente is said by the Mail to have been discussed by Wenger and his scouting staff, with the 27-year-old expected to cost £28m, the release clause written into his Bilbao contract. Wenger would hold out for around £20m if van Persie was sold and use that amount as the bulk of the money for Spain striker Llorente.

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