Monday, July 22, 2024
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Spain winger wants Barcelona move despite Premier League talks

Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams is prioritising a move to Barcelona despite holding talks with several Premier League clubs.

Williams has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in La Liga since breaking into the Athletic Bilbao team as a teenager and helped the Spanish side end a 40-year trophy drought with Copa del Rey success in 2023-24.

 

The 21-year-old’s contract was set to expire this summer but Williams agreed terms on an extension in December, removing the threat of him leaving the Basque outfit on a free transfer.

However, interest in signing Williams remains and the player’s representatives have held talks with Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

Arsenal want to provide depth to their wide options this summer, while Newcastle are expected to commit the bulk of their summer budget to the signing of a right-winger.

Liverpool, meanwhile, view Williams as a potential long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah, who turned 32 this month and continues to attract attention from the Saudi Pro League.

Each of the Premier League clubs are keen to sign the explosive wideman but HITC are reporting that Williams’ preference is to remain in Spain, amid interest from Barcelona.

Williams, who scored eight goals and provided 17 assists in all competitions last season, is currently with the Spain squad at Euro 2024 and has a release clause of £43m in his contract at The San Mamés Stadium.

Barcelona would require sales before financing a deal for Williams with Ferran Torres – who has been linked with West Ham – and Raphinha among the players who could leave the Camp Nou.

 

Williams ranked among La Liga’s leading players last season for assists (2nd), successful take-ons (2nd), crosses (7th) and progressive carries (4th).

Barcelona winger Lamine Yamal this week urged his club side to sign Williams, insisting his Spain teammate would be the ‘one player’ he would bring to Catalonia.

“I would definitely sign Nico Williams! If you ask me to pick one player to sign, I would say him,” the 16-year-old told El Partidazo de COPE.

“I hope to share the dressing room with Nico at Barça, continues the great talent.”

Read – Five Premier League players that could move clubs before the PSR deadline

See more – Five young players who have caught the eye at Euro 2024

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