Will there be a tug-of-war for Llorente?

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Nine days without any fresh, meaty action in La Liga to feast on sees Spain’s sports dailies moaning and groaning like skeletal zombies who have not been able to nosh down on tasty human flesh for a good six months.

Although Spain’s upcoming clash against 4-6-0 Scotland acts as a temporary distraction, it is the ins and outs of club football that really make the papers moist.

In the Catalan capital, Barça-brained Sport are speculating what Pep will be asking for in the summer of 2011 - aside from hair plugs - making the assumption that the Dream Boys coach will be signing on for another year of Camp Nou craziness, along the way.

Sport’s front cover on Tuesday claims David Silva will be boosting the club’s ranks of diminutive, tricksy, slightly weedy front men into triple figures, in case an attack of the vapours hits the dressing room, perhaps. However, the manliness quota will be kept up with the addition of Fernando Llorente and (drum roll/scream of hair-pulling desperation) Cesc Fabregas.

If Sport are even vaguely correct - which they won’t be - then Athletic Bilbao striker Llorente will be caught in a tug of love which is set to delight the bean counters at his Basque club, with AS claiming Real Madrid will be making a bid for the big man’s goal scoring services.

Ramos calls first dibs on Llorente on Real's behalf...

This story has suddenly been resurrected due to Llorente’s brace for Spain against Lithuania and a change in the law in La Liga which sees a end to the ruling that any player who had played more than five games for club A could not move to club B in the same division in the same season. 

The Llorente speculation has also increased a tad because of the ‘flavour of the month’ principle in the Spanish sporting press that sees any player who has had a couple of good games linked with either Real Madrid or Barcelona before being quietly forgotten about after a duff month or two.

This is why Marca have had a nose at la Primera’s top scorers chart and noticed that a mysterious fella called Nilmar is at number one with five goals from six games. Whilst first checking that this isn’t some kind of misprint of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marca have splashed across Tuesday's front page the prediction that Real Madrid will nuzzle up to the Villarreal forward and leave him their number, next summer.

There may well be space in Real Madrid’s front line to squeeze in the Brazilian striker, opine Mundo Deportivo, as the Catalan paper is musing that Kaká will be making his way to AC Milan in the winter. Meanwhile the notion of Karim Benzema being dumped by the roadside - or sold to Arsenal, the same thing really - by the Castle Greyskull club is not such a crazy concept, considering how the Frenchman seems to annoy the heck out of José Mourinho.

AS are also linking Barcelona in a move for Athletic Bilbao keeper, Gorka Iraizoz, who is just 29, out of contract next year and - more importantly - does not have ridiculous, braided hair like Barça’s current back-up goalie, José Pinto. However, Arsenal are also thought to be sniffing around the Basque club’s main man at the back.

However, this will be the final day of this this mini silly season of speculation, with the bones of Spain’s result against Scotland to chew over on Wednesday, and the tasty brains of league football returning the the menu for another mad nine weeks before la Liga takes its next break at Christmas. Yum.

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