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Gurpegui seeks Llorente closure

4 January 2013 06:09

Athletic Bilbao player Carlos Gurpegui says he hopes the Fernando Llorente "saga" will end soon.

Spain international Llorente is out of contract in the off-season and tipped to leave the club in the January transfer window, with Juventus tipped to be his most likely destination.

Midfielder Gurpegui said he hopes his star team-mate will remain with the club until the end of the campaign.

"The club have said (that he will stay), at least until somebody pays his release clause. In that respect we are calm," Gurpegui told a press conference on Thursday.

"We know that he belongs to Athletic until that day and the only thing that I ask of Fernando until June 30 is that he can be at the highest level and help us score as many goals as possible."

Italian giants Juve have reportedly begun negotiations with the striker, who has spent nine seasons at the Liga club.

Llorente had previously rejected a new deal and stated that he would see out the remainder of his contract.

"Hopefully the soap opera is over," Gurpegui said.

"It is good for everybody that there is peace and that together we can only think of Athletic, which is where we are and we all want the best."

Athletic have requested suitors of Llorente pay the termination clause in the player's contract, which would enable him to leave the club in January.

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