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Fernando Llorente open to a January return to La Liga

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Llorente’s contract expires this summer, but he said he’d be willing for an earlier move.

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

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that Fernando Llorente is considering his football future beyond Tottenham Hotspur. The Spanish striker is nearing the end of his Spurs contract — he was signed in summer of 2017 for two years and the option for a third, but I’m not sure anyone expects that Spurs will exercise his option for that third season.

Instead, there are rumors starting to emerge that he might even be a January transfer target. He’s been linked specifically with Athletic Bilbao, his former club. After Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Barcelona, he told Spanish radio station Cadena Sur that he’d be open to a return to the Basque club.

“My contract ends at the end of the year, and [Spurs] has the option to extend another year. I want whatever God wants, we will see.

“I would like to go back to Athletic. My priority is to feel important in the team. Going out in January? That’s not up to me, I’d have to talk to Tottenham and [Daniel] Levy.”

It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Considering he can leave for free this summer, it would make sense to get a little transfer fee for him in January, assuming Athletic are actually interested. He’s certainly not getting a whole lot of Premier League minutes this season.

Also Spurs are in the position where they have to sell before they can buy, and offloading Llorente would certainly free up a roster spot for, say, Juan Foyth. Or maybe a shiny new midfielder.

I have no idea how serious Spurs are in selling Fernando at the midway point of the season, or if Athletic are even really interested, but it’s an intriguing idea. And it honestly wouldn’t surprise me.