Fernando Llorente to snub Arsenal, Chelsea & Manchester City and join Juventus in January?!

Juventus are convinced they will see off competition from a host of Barclays Premier League clubs and win the race to sign Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente in the January transfer window.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a confirmed admirer of Llorente's strength and finishing, and Chelsea and Manchester City are also keen on a frontrunner who was high on Manchester United's wanted list, prior to their summer acquisition of Robin Van Persie.

But signing a proven striker is Juventus' priority for the winter window, and according to Sportsmail, behind-the-scenes activity has led to the 27-year old verbally agreeing to join them.

Timing of the move remains the only issue to be resolved, with Llorente due to become a free agent at the end of the season, when his contract runs out. Bilbao could keep Juve waiting, but another training ground bust-up with Marcelo Bielsa earlier this week, when the despairing coach ordered him off the pitch before the session had ended, points to a cut-price deal being thrashed out in the New Year.

Personal terms in Serie A are always discussed in net figures, and Juve's pledge to pay Llorente £4.5million a year works out at close on £200,000 a week gross, given Italy's tax rate.

With Llorente's contract running down, Juve hope to negotiate a cut-price fee with Bilbao of less than half their original £15million asking price, though they are mindful that Inter Milan may yet enter the race.

Chief executive Beppe Marotta revealed the Turin club's confidence over landing their prime target, and leaving the Spain marksman's Premier League pursuers frustrated, by saying: 'People keep asking if we will sign a top player in January, and we are monitoring that with great attention.'

Their move for Llorente almost certainly rules out any prospect of a January bid for unsettled Manchester United winger Nani. Though there is an interest in Nani, all their energies and resources are concentrated on recruiting a proven finisher to pep up their attack.