By Romeo Agresti
Athletic Bilbao have told Juventus that they have no intention of selling Fernando Llorente in the January transfer window, despite the Serie A side issuing them with an ultimatum, Goal.com understands.
The Bianconeri made a final offer of €4 million plus a €300,000 bonus (£3.3m plus £250,000 bonus) if they successfully defend their Scudetto earlier this week, giving Athletic until Friday to make a decision.
The Basque side have opted not to accept the bid, though, meaning that the Spain international will stay put until his contract expires at the end of the season.
Juventus had earmarked the 27-year-old striker as the perfect addition to their attack this winter, but they will now have to wait until June to get their man.
Llorente is thought highly likely to join the Serie A champions on a Bosman free transfer at the end of the season in a four-year deal worth €4m (£3.3m) per annum.
However, the Spain international striker has previously stated a desire to move to the Premier League when he leaves Athletic, and Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all been linked with the Basque target man in the past. They are likely to be encouraged by Athletic's rejection of Juve's bid.
The player told Athletic at the start of the 2012-13 campaign that he did not want to extend his expiring deal, and has since been struggling for game time, scoring just once in 12 Liga games.