Juventus' hopes of signing Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente have been hit but Didier Drogba has emerged as a surprise target.
The reigning Serie A champions are intent on signing a proven, international class striker but doing so is proving an ordeal. Llorente is said to be keen on a move to Turin but his club have frozen the Spanish international out and are driving a hard bargain.
“If Juventus really want Llorente they should hunt down every cent of his €36m clause,” Bilbao President Josu Urrutia told Canal Plus after his side lost 4-0 to Atletico Madrid in Llorente's absence last night.
“The future of Llorente is not in our hands. I've always said that a player can go if they don't care about Athletic anymore or if someone pays their termination clause, but these conditions do not exist.
“He's an Athletic player and we continue to rely on him.”
Meanwhile financial problems at Drogba's new club Shanghai Shenua could open the door for a shock swoop, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Chinese club are owned by tycoon Zhu Jun and by five state owned companies.
However a dispute over the transferral of shares between Jun and the state owned companies has put Shenua's funding in jeopardy, meaning their big name players could be on the market soon.
Foremost amongst those big names is Drogba, who only joined the Chinese Super League outfit earlier this summer. The Ivorian forward helped Chelsea win last season's Champions League, scoring a late equaliser and the decisive penalty in a shoot out with Bayern Munich.