Posted: Thu January 3, 2013 8:04AM; Updated: Thu January 3, 2013 8:04AM

Bilbao says Juventus wants to sign Llorente

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Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente has been with Athletic Bilbao since 2005.
Gaizka Bilbao/AP

BILBAO, Spain (AP) -- Athletic Bilbao says that Juventus will open negotiations with striker Fernando Llorente to lure him to Italy after this season.

Bilbao released a statement on its website on Thursday saying that Juventus "will begin negotiations with (Llorente) to incorporate him into its squad'' after his contract with the Basque club expires on June 30.

Llorente has been at odds with Bilbao since last offseason when he refused to extend his contract with his boyhood club.

The 27-year-old Llorente plays for the Spanish national team and was a member of its world and European champion squads.

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