Manuel Pellegrini could be in the market for a new striker after Andy Carroll was released by West Ham, and he may not have to look further than Tottenham to sign a like-for-like replacement…
Fernando Llorente could be available on a free transfer after his contract expired this summer, but the £75k-per-week centre-forward wasn’t named in Spurs’ released list for 2018/19 which suggests the Lilywhites are still in talks over a new deal.
West Ham were linked with the 34-year-old earlier this summer and may have to battle Leicester City and Napoli for his signature. Llorente joined Tottenham from Swansea City in 2017 and has gone on to make 66 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 19 goals.
The Spanish international would provide an obvious aerial threat in the final third – having won 55% of aerial duels in the Premier League and Champions League for Tottenham – and can hold up the ball to bring others into the attack. His form for Tottenham in 2019 will have impressed West Ham, but his advancing age might give them pause for thought.
Llorente contributed 13 goals in 35 games in 2018/19, averaging a goal/assist every 96 minutes, but he only averaged 36 minutes of playing time per game. The centre-forward impressed in small doses for Tottenham and may have to be managed carefully by West Ham if they did sign him.
That being said, signing a £15m striker for free and only having to cover his £3.9m-a-year salary for 12 months could make him a shrewd acquisition.
Stats from Transfermarkt.