MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 25: Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao reacts during the Copa del Rey Final between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on May 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
It's one thing for a player like Leandro Damiao to be linked with a move to Spurs. The Brazilian striker has an agent that likes to talk and plays for a club in a league that is generally a "selling league". It's not surprising that there are a ton of rumors generated about him. Fernando Llorente, however, is another matter entirely.
Llorente, the golden-maned Spanish striker for Athletic Bilbao, is rarely linked with other clubs for a number of reasons. Chief among those is that Athletic don't part with their players easily. But rumors coming out of Basque country say that Llorente is getting increasingly fed up with the club and its fans and could be seeking a move away.
Gazzetta in Italy claims that Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur are currently chasing Llorente and he could be available €20 million, which is much less than his buyout clause. Another blog (and, allegedly, a Basque TV station) believes that Llorente, who is out of contract next summer and has shown little desire to re-up with Athletic, will be approached by Manchester United in January to sign on a free,Athletic will certainly want to get something for the player, which explains the lower rumored price. However, I have to think Juve has the pole position in this transfer. If United is willing to wait until next summer for Llorente to sign on a free you have to figure that Daniel Levy would also be willing to do the same. Levy is very much looking for the best value for his money and even though €20 million for Llorente is incredible, less in January, or free next summer is even better.
However, let's just stop and think about this for a moment. With the Damiao links stepping up in intensity and finally a "real" link to Llorente one has to wonder what the heck is going on. Could Spurs possibly be after both of these players? What would we do if we actually signed both? That's about a €50 million outlay on strikers. Something we definitely need, but having both seems like overkill.
Llorente is 27. He's played at some of the highest levels of European football. The only thing missing from his resume is Champions League experience. Damiao is 23. He has played at the top levels in South American football. I take that back, he has not just played, he's dominated. Now neither of those things necessarily guarantees success in the English Premier League. And neither of those things means that one is necessarily "the striker" for Spurs, but it's like debating between cherry and strawberry Pop Tarts. Both are delicious and I would be happy to have either as part of my breakfast.
In the end, I feel like, if Tottenham are bidding on Llorente, it is in an effort to hedge their bets in case Damiao doesn't sign. I think it should be the other way around. Yes, I know Leandro is younger, but I think Llorente would be a perfect fit for Spurs, even more so than the Brazilian. What say you, dear readers? If both is not an option, which striker do you want?