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Athletic Bilbao reportedly look to give Tottenham striker a January exit

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Big Nando might be headed back to sunny Spain.

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur’s January windows are always hit and miss. Usually there’s one or two pieces of business, whether a big move is made (Lucas Moura!) or a quiet purchase of a young player from League One. (Hi Dele!) This January, it seems there are two things on the horizon: Getting a central midfielder for depth given that half our players seem to be carrying injuries and figuring out what to do with former Spanish International, Fernando Llorente.

Today, we seem to have a good hint as to what is on Llorente’s mind. He suggested recently that he’d like to finish his career in Spain and that his move to Tottenham has been, largely, uneventful. The Independent are reporting that he may very well get his wish this January as Athletic Bilbao are interested in getting the striker’s services.

The Spanish striker’s contract expires next summer and so he can negotiate a Bosman deal with foreign clubs from January, but Athletic’s presidential elections are likely to bring forward the prospect of a move, with presidential candidates already sounding out the player over a return and elections scheduled for December 27.

Bilbao are currently 17th in La Liga, just one point out of the relegation zone. Leganes are currently right behind them. Rayo Vallecano and Huesca round out the remaining two spots, four points behind Bilbao. Needless to say, it’s been a bad season thus far with just one win and a bunch of draws. Yes, they could do what the article suggests and sign him now for next year, but it’s clear they need the help immediately.

As for Llorente, his £15m move from Swansea probably hasn’t gone as he envisioned, though he had to realize that, playing behind Harry Kane, regular starting time was going to be pretty minimal. He’s made 37 appearances for Tottenham, scoring six goals and chipping in two assists. His move seemed to puzzle everyone, given that the club usually goes after younger players, and here we sit 18 months later, staring at a possible exit.

Let’s be honest: This isn’t going to affect the club much if he leaves and any transfer fee picked up should help finance a possible CM purchase. Llorente is essentially a third striker, with Son Heung-Min preferred over the Spaniard to slot in at the #9 when Kane needs a rest. If Spurs truly need someone to fill out that spot, perhaps they can unchain Vincent Janssen from the basement of the training ground and dust him off?