Llorente was ready to leave Napoli in January 2020 before he decided to see out the season.
"In January the Athletic and Sampdoria thing came out. I had to decide in a few days because the last day everything appeared. In those last weeks of the winter market, Napoli tried to put me in other teams," he recalled.
"In the absence of two hours to close the market, I only needed my 'yes' to go to Sampdoria. But there was a call from Athletic, because De Marcos called me. They saw the possibility at one point that things were not going well for them and they tried. I spoke with Rafa Alkorta and it couldn't be done."
Llorente added: "They saw the possibility that I would return, it was a time when things were not going well for them, they saw the opportunity that I could return and they tried."