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The former Valencia forward has lamented the state of affairs surrounding his fellow strike partner and says it has contributed to an "uncomfortable" atmosphere in the team

Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz believes the troubles between Fernando Llorente and the club have had a detrimental effect on the Basque outfit.

Last year, Llorente's talks with the club broke down resulting in the player's decision to attempt to leave San Mames - which he will for Juventus this summer once his contract expires.

However, Athletic's refusal to grant Llorente his wish back then has seen relations between club and the player turn sour, and Aduriz believes the issue is problematic.

“Llorente’s situation is an uncomfortable one for everyone. For him, for us, for everyone,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“Everyone including him wants to end discussing such matters and see that we focus on what really interests us as a team moving forward.

“This week, for example, very little has been said of the match against Espanyol."

As a result of the impasse, Aduriz has seen more playing time than he expected after his switch from Valencia and has scored 12 league goals so far this season.

“I knew I was coming to a very competitive team, where I faced competition from Fernando, one of the best strikers out there," he continued.

“We had three competitions, I thought there would be time for everyone to play to their best because that would be for the benefit of the team.

“When I arrived, I was conscious of the fact I would come to play and have to fight for the good of the team.

“To start the season [as a substitute] was a bit shocking, but I had no choice other than to work to try and change the coach’s initial decision and find a chance to play.”

After making the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals last term, Athletic have already been eliminated from both competitions, while they currently languish in the bottom half of the Primera Division. 

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