Fernando Llorente rejected the chance to extend his spell with Tottenham Hotspur this summer before landing a move to SSC Napoli, according to Gazzetta dello Sport via Sport Witness.
The Spanish striker secured his switch to the Serie A as a free agent on the European transfer Deadline Day (BBC), having walked away from North London when his contract expired in June.
The London sides had been keen to secure his services after the long-time Athletic Bilbao attacker hit 15 goals in 33 Premier League games for the Swans (TransferMarkt), as he helped the Welsh outfit avoid relegation in what proved to be his sole campaign at the Liberty Stadium.
Life in north London saw Llorente only serve as the understudy to Harry Kane, however, and 66 outings across all competitions were enough to convince the 2010 World Cup winner with Spain that his career would be better continued elsewhere once his contract came to its natural end.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Spurs tried to tie Llorente’s immediate future down to an extended deal, but the heavily reduced terms saw that he and his agent both waved it away.
Tottenham were keen to extend the striker’s time at the club as they saw the Pamplona-born hitman as a potential mentor for academy star Troy Parrott, but Llorente was not open to training his eventual replacement.
A range of phone calls from SSC Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Director of Football Cristiano Giuntoli then saw Llorente agree to move to Italy, where he is claimed to have accepted a contract circa £40,000-a/w.
The prospect of more regular football and in a system that better suits his style helped to convince Llorente of a move to the San Paolo Stadium, and the Italian newspaper claim that the Spaniard saw Napoli as love at first sight.
Tottenham could certainly have benefited from having another senior striker on their books this term, with Parrott now Mauricio Pochettino’s second choice leaving a great deal of pressure on Harry Kane to deliver the goods.
The England captain has so far done his part in the league with four goals in six games (WhoScored), but a Parrott-led offence in the Carabao Cup saw that Spurs crashed out away to League Two side Colchester United.
As for Llorente, life in a system that better suits his style of play has seen the 34-year-old hit three in three games across all competitions (TransferMarkt) – including against Liverpool in the Champions League – for a strike rate of a goal every 44.3 minutes, showing that his decision was right for his future.
Tottenham fans, would you have kept Llorente as your number two striker? Let us know in the comments below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience