Juventus striker Fernando Llorente claims Real Madrid were unsuccessful on “at least” two separate occasions when trying to sign him from Athletic Bilbao.
The Turin giants will get their third Champions League fixture underway tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the ominous task of getting their first win of the competition this season over Real Madrid.
The task at hand may prove too great for the Bianconeri, and for Llorente, he faces the possibility of watching-on from the sidelines, as he’s currently behind both Carlos Tevez and Mirko Vucinic in the pecking order.
“Yes, there was real interest,” he told AS. “In the end the timing wasn’t right, and something else came along.
“They tried to sign me at least twice. At first because it was impossible to leave Athletic. Over there [Spain], either someone pays your buy-out clause or you stay.”
“The last time was when I had a year left on my contract, the year we had a good run in the Europa League [2011-12].
The 28 year-old made the switch from La Liga to Serie A on a Bosman deal last summer, after playing over 300 matches and scoring more than 100 goals for the Basque club.
“As my contract began to run out Madrid were no longer interested and Juventus turned up and gave me more confidence. Joining Madrid was once a possibility, as they are one of the best teams in the world.”
Follow Louis Gibberd-Thomas on Twitter: @mercutio156