NEW YORK (AP) – Athletic Bilbao have stated that Fernando Llorente will not be allowed to leave the club in the winter transfer window in a bid to end speculation about his future.
The Basque Country outfit's president Jose Urrutia announced that the striker would stay as Tottenham Hotspur , Juventus and several clubs are linked with his services in January.
"Llorente will not be going anywhere in the winter transfer market and we will not be signing anyone," he said.
"We took a decision at the start of the season on economic, sporting and philosophical grounds. Athletic are stronger and more competitive with Fernando in the ranks."
Llorente has lost favor with Bilbao supporters after reports in the summer that he would prefer to leave, but Urrutia thinks that the player does not think like that.
"I do not know if things have changed, but I can only go on what Fernando has said too," he continued. "I have read and heard things and I do not know if they are true. He is an important player for us and the club is to him.
"Over the next few months I do not know if he will see Athletic as his first option but at the moment there is no news.
"We can only hope that he feels we match his sporting ambitions and that he will stay here."