By all accounts, Fernando Llorente came close to a reunion with Antonio Conte back in January, but the tall target man was eventually convinced to stay at Swansea and would end up playing a big role in their Premier League survival. But with just a year left on his contract and no extension in sight, the Swans are faced with a decision to either sell, or keep and let him walk for free at the end of the season. Given that they signed Tammy Abraham on loan from Chelsea and are considering a similar move for Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony, they just might be leaning towards the former.
Earlier in the summer, Llorente’s price was mooted to be around £30m, which even in this market would be rather outrageous. But then Llorente broke his arm and the transfer rumors dried up. However, in the rumor mill what is dead may never die and so the Llorenete rumor is back, though only at half price.
Both Llorente and Conte are supposedly keen on this £15m reunion, which would certainly represent a handsome profit for Swansea, who acquired the 32-year-old for £5m last summer, and would provide a proven veteran option for Conte either in addition to or instead of the less consistent option that Michy Batshuayi would provide in support of Álvaro Morata. Incidentally, Morata and Llorente worked well in tandem for Juventus back in 2014-15 after Conte left to coach the Italian national team.
With Loïc Rémy seemingly not set to factor in to this season at all, Chelsea have just two recognized strikers. Llorente as a third would provide not only tactical flexibility but some veteran leadership and mentoring — sort of the Didier Drogba role from a years ago. While £15m seems a bit steep still, it’s almost impossible to tell what’s the actual value of players these days. Backup striker isn’t the position of most pressing need for Conte, but adding one wouldn’t hurt.