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Antonio Conte has won the race for the Spain striker, who will become a Bianconeri player on July 1 after seeing out the remainder of his contract with Athletic Bilbao

Juventus will confirm the signing of Fernando Llorente on Thursday, with the announcement of the free transfer concluding their patient pursuit of Athletic Bilbao's most coveted player.

The 27-year-old has been frozen out of the picture at the Basque club after rejecting a new contract that would have seen his salary rise to €4.8 million [£4m] a year.

Llorente will earn less at Juventus, €4.5m [£3.8m] per season, but had his heart set on Italy and has now agreed a four-year contract.

The Serie A holders attempted to sign Llorente in the summer but baulked at the €36m [£30.2m] buy-out clause written into the player's contract.

Llorente has been free to speak to overseas clubs about a summer transfer since January 1.

The deal was to be announced by the Turin club on Wednesday, but was held back so as not to overshadow the new two-year contract extension agreed by captain Gianluigi Buffon.

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