Transfer news: Juventus play down Fernando Llorente speculation
Juventus insist there is no issue with Fernando Llorente as speculation over his future mounts.
Last Updated: 16/09/13 3:09pm
Llorente joined Juve in the summer on a high-profile Bosman free transfer from Athletic Bilbao, who left him on the bench for much of last season because of his refusal to sign a new deal with the club.
But 28-year-old Llorente has featured just once as a substitute this term and reports claim that clubs from England and Spain are taking a keen interest in his situation as he appears to be anything but first choice under Antonio Conte.
However, Juve director general Beppe Marotta insists that they are looking long-term with Llorente, particularly given his recent lack of action.
"There is no Llorente problem. Don't forget that he didn't play that regularly last season," he said.
"When we sign a player and hand him a four-year contract, we're evidently not looking for immediate results in the space of one or two months.
"We believe in him and it is too early to judge."
Marotta has also revealed that the club are confident of reaching an agreement with veteran midfield star Andrea Pirlo over a new deal.
The 34-year-old's current deal expires next summer, but Juve have every intention of handing him a fresh contract.
"He's doing really good things. He's feeling really good with us and in the right moment we will meet to take the best decision for both sides", Marotta told Sky Italia.
"I think he could continue with us. But a lot will be up to him and the plans he has for his future."
Meanwhile, one player said to be closing on a deal with Juve is Anzhi Makhachkala's Lacina Traore.
Dinamo Moscow have been strongly linked with the highly-rated Ivorian striker, but their coach Dan Petrescu feels he has already agreed a deal with Juve.
"For what I know Traore in January will go to Juventus," Petrescu told the Russian media.