According to reports, a Spanish flyer wanted by Liverpool, Manchester United, and a new third club can be signed through an affordable release clause in January, and his current club has pressed the panic button.
Potential suitors can monitor transfer targets in a high-pressure environment during the World Cup. While it would be unwise for a club to sign a player solely on their performances over such a short period of time, it can tip a 50/50 decision over the edge.
Nico Williams of Spain is one player who is being closely watched in Qatar. The 20-year-old right winger is Inaki’s brother, who plays for Ghana.
Nico Williams has enjoyed a rapid rise of late, becoming a regular starter at the club level for Athletic Bilbao in 2022 and forcing his way into Luis Enrique’s Spain squad.
Williams has four goals and three assists to his name in La Liga this season. His explosive displays down the right flank have caught Liverpool’s eye.
Reports out of Spain claimed Jurgen Klopp is seeking a reliable backup to Mohamed Salah as well as another explosive option off the bench.
Williams is reportedly being scouted by the Reds in Qatar, with particular attention paid to how he performs off the bench given that’s the role he’d likely assume at Anfield.
Williams has provided pace and energy off the bench in each of Spain’s opening two World Cup clashes. However, a subsequent report from Spain later claimed Man Utd is in the mix too.
Third club chasing Nico Williams
Now, Spanish outlet AS has weighed in on Williams’ future, including naming a third suitor and Bilbao’s panicked response to the transfer talk.
They claim Serie A powerhouse Juventus also like what they see. The Turin club is sizing up Williams for a transfer at some stage in 2023, potentially as early as January.
Adding fuel to the fire is the statement Williams holds a release clause in his current Bilbao deal worth €50m (approx. £43m).
£43m could represent excellent value for a 20-year-old who looks destined for big things. Indeed, despite his tender age, he’s already racked up five senior caps for Spain.
Bilbao scheduled urgent talks
Bilbao is growing increasingly aware the release clause might not be enough to ward off the growing interest.
The report states they’re extremely reluctant to lose their next big thing, and as such, are hurriedly planning urgent contract extension talks once the World Cup concludes.
While not explicitly stated, the inference there is the release clause would either be removed entirely or at the very least raised if fresh terms were penned.
As such, Liverpool, Man Utd, or even Juventus may have to bite the bullet and move quickly once the January window opens.
Failure to do so could see Williams tied down to a new deal that’ll inevitably prompt a huge increase in what Bilbao can realistically demand.