Bielsa wants veteran striker to fire Leeds to promotion

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa hopes a January reunion with one of his former favourites can help lead the Whites back into the Premier League, according to reports on Thursday.

Fernando Llorente – who enjoyed a successful period playing under Bielsa at Athletic Bilbao – has seen himself frozen out of the first-team picture under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and looks set to move on when the transfer window reopens.

The veteran Spanish striker was expected to return to Spain, possibly even with Athletic Club, but according to The Sun, Bielsa is planning an ambitious bid to bring him to the Championship promotion hopefuls.

The paper claims Spurs are ready to sell Llorente for a fee of around £4million in January – and that has alerted Bielsa who will reportedly try and convince Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani to stump up the cash needed to sign the forward.

The striker, now 33, will be out of contract next summer and Spurs want to sell him in January to avoid the prospect of losing him for free at the end of the season.

Any deal now would represent a calculated gamble by the Whites, who lie third in the table ahead of Saturday’s return to Championship action at home to Bristol City.

Leeds have suffered in injuries in recent weeks, but do hope to have attacking midfielder Izzy Brown and forward Patrick Bamford back from respective injuries in and around the festive programme


Llorente notched 118 goals in 333 outings at Bilbao and despite his struggles at Wembley under Pochettino, Bielsa will hope he can bring similar form with him into the Championship and get their promotion struggle back on track, if the report linking him to Leeds proves accurate.


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