Fernando Llorente Hasn’t Closed The Door On A Return To Athletic, But The Move Is Still Unlikely
Every Athletic fan has their own opinion on Fernando Llorente. The striker once referred to as “The Lion King” left the club back in 2013 after featuring in 333 games and scoring 118 goals. At the time he had been offered a new lucrative contract, but turned it down in favor of leaving for free to join Juventus. Most fans immediately saw the striker as a traitor, but since then some have expressed their desire to see a return.
Speaking with Mundo Deportivo in London ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League match against Barcelona, Llorente once again admitted that returning to Athletic is something he has considered. The 33-year-old has found it difficult to earn a regular place at Tottenham and could be leaving the club in the near future.
“Going back to Athletic? It is one of the options. Athletic is my home and if they made an offer I would seriously consider it. For my family I would like to continue playing in Europe, but we will see what offers there are when the season ends. I would return very happy. Back in 2010 there was an approach from Barcelona, but nothing concrete happened. I was with Athletic at the time. I was happy and didn’t think of going anywhere. Right now I’m focused on my work at Tottenham and I don’t want to look any further ahead. I will try to get minutes, which is difficult, and improve myself every day.”
Although Llorente may still be open to returning to Athletic, the move is very unlikely at this point. Some fans may be willing to forgive the striker, but his relationship with the current board is still very poor after what happened back in 2013. In Wednesday’s press conference President Josu Urrutia was asked about the hypothetical signing and was clearly still unwilling to entertain the idea.
“We are always attentive to ways that we can improve the team. In regards to Llorente, what I know is that he was here and was offered what was considered an irresistible proposal, but he chose another. That is what happened and that’s the way it is.”
With Aritz Aduriz not getting any older and Iñaki Williams unable to showcase his best form up top, there is no denying the fact that Athletic would benefit from added quality at the striker position. That being said, unless there is a Presidential change it is highly unlikely that Athletic would truly consider bringing Llorente back to the San Mamés. Elections will be held in 2019 and from there things could potentially change.