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Marcelo Bielsa firm on Athletic’s stance with Fernando Llorente

The Argentinean manager has stated that the Spanish international forward is one of Los Leones and shall play for them until his contract runs out next summer

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has reiterated his confidence that target man Fernando Llorente remains at the club's disposal, responding to considerable speculation regarding the Spain international's future in the Basque country.

"[He] belongs to the club," Bielsa told Marca. "He is ready to be used."

Llorente has been one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe for a number of seasons, notching an impressive 29 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions during the last campaign, but remained at San Mames despite heavy interest from Juventus.

Bielsa will now be hoping Llorente continues such form this term as the striker prepares to return from a muscle injury which has kept him out of action since August 9th.

With the transfer window now closed, Bielsa is pleased to have kept Llorente, particularly after losing midfield maestro Javi Martínez to Bayern Munich.

“We have lost a sporting and a personable player”, the head coach said of Martínez, while wishing him “lots of luck” at his new German club.

Athletic Bilbao play newly promoted Real Valladolid at San Mames tomorrow and Bielsa has said that he is not surprised that Miroslav Dukic's side have started with two wins because they are “playing well”.

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