BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Fernando Llorente says he will leave Spanish club Athletic Bilbao at the end of the season and blamed the media for souring relations with the club and its fans.
The 27-year-old striker, who rose through the junior ranks of the Basque club, said he had been unlucky and denied money was an issue why his career hadn't worked out at Bilbao. Llorente said on Tuesday that "what has come out in the press is lies," adding that the media had "not helped my renewal" of a deal at the club.
In August, Llorente refused to sign a new contract. Following a 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad in September, he reportedly argued with coach Marcelo Bielsa and later stormed out of training.