Barcelona plot summer swoop for Athletic Bilbao's Llorente - report

Frustrated by their Champions League defeat to Chelsea, the Catalans have decided they require a traditional centre forward, and believe that the Spain international fits the bill
Barcelona have reportedly made Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente their primary summer transfer target.

According to Sport, the Blaugrana have identified the Spain international as the ideal player to add an extra dimension to their attack due to his aerial ability and his strength in the penalty area.

The paper claims that Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has already given the bid to bring Llorente to Camp Nou the green light, with the Catalans attempting to exercise as much discretion as possible in the hope of beating several Premier League clubs, as well as Liga rivals Real Madrid to the punch.

Barca's attack is currently based around Lionel Messi, while the club's previous attempt to embrace a target man in the shape of Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned out to be an expensive failure.

However, Sport reports that the Blaugrana have accepted after their Champions League elimination at the hands of Chelsea that they need more variety in their play if they are to turn possession into goals on a more consistent basis.

Barca believe that the 27-year-old Llorente, who has netted seven times in 20 appearances for his country, will provide them with the cutting edge they were so sorely lacking against the Blues.

The Bilbao striker will go up against his prospective new employers in this month's Copa del Rey final at the Vicente Calderon.