Athletic Club are confident that they will be able to retain Nico Williams beyond the end of his contract, despite interest from Manchester United, Barcelona and Liverpool, among others.
The 21-year-old’s deal is up at the end of the season, but there has been speculation that Man Utd may move for him before then.
With the futures of both Antony and Jadon Sancho uncertain, reports from Spain indicate that the Red Devils are considering a January transfer swoop for a winger. To that end, they will resist any temptation to sign a free agent before then.
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Barcelona and Liverpool, meanwhile, are both looking at the 10-time capped Spain international as a possible acquisition, though the Spanish champions are specifically targeting him when he is a free agent next summer – something that may not be possible given the interest from the Premier League clubs.
Nevertheless, Athletic Club president Jon Uriarte is apparently positive over the prospects of Wiliams signing a new contract with the club.
Speaking to Movistar, he said: “Both Nico Williams and his family are very happy in Bilbao and with Athletic. We’re working on both sides so that he can stay for many years.”
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Barcelona could be given an edge in the chase for the player given that he apparently has a good relation with the club’s younger players – something that is causing Athletic to begin to fret over his future.
In particular, he has a friendship with Alejandro Balde and is said to get along very well with Lamine Yamal and Gavi.
However, Barca are said to be keeping an eye on Jadon Sancho’s situation at Man Utd and could move for the England international as an alternative. This could open the door to Nico going to Old Trafford.
Why Nico Williams did not play against Cadiz
Williams was absent for Athletic Club’s 3-0 win over Cadiz on Saturday because of an injury sustained with the Spain national team.
“It is very annoying that, due to calendar reasons, your players, who you are paying their salaries, get injured playing games in other places,” Uriate raged.
The injury is not a serious one, but the winger could also miss out next week.