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Monday, July 15, 2024

Nico Williams set to ignite intense transfer battle as release clause revealed

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Nico Williams has put himself on the radar of numerous Premier League clubs following a stellar performance against Italy this week. 

The Spain winger was relatively quiet in their opening win over Croatia at Euro 2024, but he was imperious against the Azzurri, tormenting the defence all the game. Riccardo Calafiori’s 55th-minute own goal came directly from his cross, sealing La Roja’s progress to the knockouts.

It comes off the back of an impressive campaign for Athletic Club de Bilbao, registering 16 goal involvements in La Liga and helping the side win the Copa Del Rey for the first time in 40 years.

That form has naturally led to speculation over his future, with several clubs linked with a move for the attacker in the summer transfer window.

Nico Williams is all the more enticing a signing due to a release clause in his contract that is reportedly set at a surprisingly low price. The youngster signed a three-year extension last December, raising his salary considerably, but the release clause remained virtually the same, according to The Athletic, who claim it stands at €55m (£46.5m).

That is a steal for a player of his quality, who would normally go for a much higher transfer fee, meaning clubs will be battling to offer him the best salary possible to win his signature.

The report says Williams is Arsenal‘s “preferred option” if they choose to target a wide player in the transfer window, while Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United have also been linked.

Barcelona is reportedly Williams’ preferred destination if he is to move anywhere this summer, but the Catalan outfit are hamstrung by financial issues. 

Williams said in an interview last week that he is not thinking about where he will be playing next season, but left the door open to a possible move.

“I’ve seen reports talking about my future, but honestly I have no clue of anything. Right now, I want to focus on the Euros and nothing else.

“I am so happy in Bilbao, I signed a new deal and performed well last season. I feel at home, but I don’t know what I will do. Nobody can tell you about the future.”

Athletic Club president Jon Uriarte addressed the rumours surrounding his star player’s future this week.

“We have impressive talent in the squad,” he said. “When things are like this, it’s normal that there are players who arouse interest, but we’re not here to talk about rumours.

“Nico is happy in Bilbao and at Athletic and we’re very happy with Nico. We don’t worry about or pay attention to rumours. We’re focused on creating an attractive project for all our players, fighting for titles and competing in Europe.”

Player Analysis – Why Premier League clubs want Nico Williams

See Also – 5 Premier League transfer targets in the Euros show window

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