Tottenham’s hopes of signing Fernando Llorente have suffered a blow as Athletic Bilbao declared he will not be allowed to leave during the January transfer window.

The London duo are said to have been chasing the Spanish international for some time with his future in the Basque Country surrounded by uncertainty.

But, The La Liga club’s president Jose Urrutia has moved to put an end to the speculation, by declaring that the prolific forward will not be leaving the club any time soon:

“Llorente will not be going anywhere in the winter transfer market and we will not be signing anyone.” He is quoted by SkySports.

“We took a decision at the start of the season on economic, sporting and philosophical grounds. Athletic are stronger and more competitive with Fernando in the ranks.”

It had been believed that Llorente would be leaving the outfit after falling out of favour with the supporters.

His desire to move during the summer caused a backlash from the fans, but Urrueta still thinks he has a role to play:

“I do not know if things have changed, but I can only go on what Fernando has said too,

“I have read and heard things and I do not know if they are true. He is an important player for us and the club is to him.

“Over the next few months I do not know if he will see Athletic as his first option but at the moment there is no news.

“We can only hope that he feels we match his sporting ambitions and that he will stay here.”

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