BEIRUT

Football

Llorente wants to join Juve as Tiote gets clubs’ attention

Reports say Llorente has made a personal plea to Urrutia to accept the offer.

After announcing his intention to leave Athletic Bilbao, Spanish striker Fernando Llorente has revealed his desire to join Italian champions Juventus.

The Serie A side are said to be considering a sizable bid for the forward, with the Spanish media suggesting that a 21 million euro ($26.27 million) offer has already been made by the Italian club.

Spanish daily AS reports that Llorente has made a personal plea to club chairman Josu Urrutia to accept the offer, threatening to run down his contract and leave next season for free.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger intends to make a 15 million pound ($23.71 million) bid for Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote this week as the club look to replace the departed Alex Song.

However, Newcastle are reluctant to sell one of their key players, with Friday’s 11 p.m. transfer deadline meaning they would have little time to find a suitable replacement.

After seeing former target Nuri Sahin join Liverpool from Real Madrid on loan, The Daily Mirror reports that completing a deal for Tiote is now Wenger’s top priority.

The imposing Ivorian has impressed since joining Newcastle from FC Twente, establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers, signing an improved six-year contract in 2011 just five months after joining the club.

Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested in Tiote, but Toon boss Alan Pardew has long expressed an unwillingness to sanction any departure for his midfield enforcer.

Pardew has spent much of the summer fending off interest in his players, after the club unexpectedly finished fifth in the league. Newcastle are said to value the 26-year-old at around 20 million pounds, but The Mirror suggests that Wenger will test Pardew’s resolve with a bid Monday.

Tiote earns a reported 40,000 pounds a week at Newcastle, and knows that a move to the Gunners would mean a significant pay rise as well as the prospect of Champions League football.

Should a move fail to materialize, The Daily Mail suggests Arsenal will turn their attention to Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, who is reportedly available for as little as 10 million pounds.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has claimed that midfielder Scott Sinclair’s move to Man City is far from a done deal, despite the former Chelsea winger being left out of the starting XI for the second successive game.

The Danish manager has claimed that nothing has been completed, but concedes that things could develop rapidly in the coming days.

“We spoke and thought it was better for him to just stay out of this game and then we will see what happens in the next five days,” Laudrup said.

“Of course if he is here on Friday evening he is back in the squad. [There is] no problem because he is a great player and an important player for this club as well.

“[At] this moment, as far as I know, Scott is still here but you know as well as I do that things can change and we will just have to see what happens.”

The Swans boss added that while he would prefer Sinclair to remain at the Liberty Stadium, he would like any deal to be completed promptly.

“I really hope if Scott leaves that it will be very soon,” he said. “The sooner the better because that means that we have more time to replace him.”

Manchester United are said to be willing to allow midfielders Anderson and Nani to leave the club for 15 million pounds each as they look to redress the books after a summer of heavy spending.

The Daily Mail says that Tottenham have been alerted to the availability of Anderson, should the club be frustrated in their attempts to sign Joao Moutinho from FC Porto.

Man United have a number of options in midfield, and after spending 45 million pounds so far this summer, Brazilian Anderson is considered surplus to requirements.

Portuguese international Nani’s situation is more complicated with the club thought to be keen to keep the player.

However, United are said to be growing frustrated by their inability to agree a new deal with the winger, and could be persuaded to cash in now should an adequate offer be made.

Fulham manager Martin Jol claims he is no longer on speaking terms with want away striker Clint Dempsey.

The American has his heart set on a move to Liverpool, a transfer which has so far failed to materialize.

TalkSport.com reports that Jol is keen to reconnect with Dempsey with the transfer deadline looming.

“Nothing has changed,” Jol said. “I asked him to come in my office and he doesn’t want to talk so it is a very awkward situation.

“The only thing is we kept everything behind the curtains so nobody knew but this situation is as it is for the last five weeks.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 27, 2012, on page 14.

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