Tottenham target World Cup winner in January sales

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Tottenham are set to make a move for Spanish contract rebel Fernando Llorente in January as they bid to cement a place in next season’s Champions League.

The north London club currently sit fifth in the Premier League following their weekend defeat to Everton and can be backed at 6/4 to earn their third top-four finish in four seasons.

With just Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor as their current attacking options, Andre Villas Boas is seeking striking reinforcements and, with the Bilbao star allowed to leave for nothing in the summer, it’s thought a bid of as little as £7m will be enough to snare Llorente.

Spurs have enjoyed improved fortunes in the final third since reverting to playing two up top – most notably at Arsenal, until Adebayor got himself sent off – and AVB needs more options to be able to call upon this system with greater frequency. He’s thought to have made 27-year-old World Cup and European Championship winner the first name on his shopping list, as a result.

Competition for Llorente’s signature is set to be fearsome, however, with a host of the continent’s top clubs, namely Juventus, keen on the six foot five striker.

Bilbao have fielded their talisman infrequently since the revelation that he would not be signing a new deal with the Basque club and results have suffered at the San Mames since. A total of five domestic wins has left them languishing in 13th in La Liga, while lacklustre displays in the Europa League have ensured an early exit from the competition which they reached the final of last term.

Such a poor showing can arguably be attributed to Llorente’s contract dispute and the club’s failure to move him on in the summer. Such behind-the-scenes problems point to an inevitable January exit and, of the potential Premier League destinations, Spurs are primed to benefit from the Spaniard’s contract dispute.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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