Report: Barcelona eye former Juventus star as Luis Suarez backup
What's the story?
According to Mundo Deportivo, Tottenham's Fernando Llorente has emerged as a new potential transfer target for Barcelona as their continue their hunt for a quality striker. The Spaniard's contract with Spurs runs out at the end of the season, and Barca are confident that they can land him for a suitable fee.
In case you didn't know...
Ernesto Valverde has first-hand knowledge of Fernando Llorente's style of play, having coached him during his time in La Liga at Athletic Bilbao.
The Spanish international is also being pursued by his former club, Athletic Bilbao, who have reportedly launched a ‘full offensive’ to secure his services.
The heart of the matter...
Following the transfer of Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla, a void has been left as the Catalan giants now find Luis Suarez without any natural replacement. The Uruguay international has experienced a number of injury issues of late and will be turning 32 later this month.
Consequently, he cannot be solely relied to lead the line for such a star-studded squad. Ousmane Dembele featured in a No. 9 role against Levante and even though he performed well, Valverde is not willing to use him on a regular basis.
That's precisely the reason La Blaugrana are actively scouting the transfer market for Suarez's able backup and Llorente appears to fit the bill. However, he will have the unenviable job of convincing Daniel Levy, who is well-known for playing hardball.
Apart from Fernando Llorente, Barcelona are also targeting Chelsea's Álvaro Morata and the Nigeria international Odion Ighalo.
Rumour rating: 6/10
Mundo Deportivo is a reliable source when it comes to stories related to Barcelona. The club's interest in Llorente is reasonable considering he will be available for cheap and will be an excellent backup to Luis Suarez.
The winter transfer window closes on February 1, so Barcelona will have to get their skates on before it gets too late.