For the second time in around a week, Fernando Llorente has told the Spanish media how he ended up at Tottenham Hotspur rather than Chelsea.
Chelsea had wanted to sign Llorente during the last winter transfer window, something the player had spoken about himself, but Swansea City were of course reluctant to see their striker go.
In a battle against relegation, Llorente leaving could have been the difference, and Chelsea were forced to wait until the summer. Antonio Conte and co were patient, and did wait, returning after winning the Premier League, but not going in strongly enough.
Whilst Chelsea were dithering and not coming up with a fee to please Swansea, Tottenham swooped in and got a deal done for the Spanish striker: “Yes, it was a difficult decision that I had to take at the last moment. Conte, who I admire since I was with him at Juventus, showed a great interest in me since last January. But Chelsea didn’t finish things with Swansea.
“With Tottenham everything was easier and faster. Pochettino called me on 30th August and I fell in love, I was filled with enthusiasm after his words and his sports project… I thought I was going to Chelsea but Tottenham finally bet more firmly for me, they didn’t hesitate and they reached an agreement very fast with Swansea. They were very difficult decisions and at the last moment… For all these circumstances, I decided to come to Tottenham.”
Llorente certainly makes it sound like he wanted, and expected, a move to Chelsea to join up with Conte, but the inability to agree a fee meant he had to take the other offer… which was attractive in itself.
Antonio Conte probably wasn’t left thrilled.