Spain star Nico Williams responds to Chelsea transfer approach

Nico Williams has received an approach from Chelsea (Shutterstock)

Nico Williams is holding out for a move to Barcelona after being approached by Chelsea, according to reports in Spain.

The 21-year-old was Athletic Bilbao’s standout performer in La Liga last season with five goals and 11 assists.

And he’s carried that form into Euro 2024 with his superb displays for Spain as La Roja prepare to play Germany in their quarter-final tie on Friday.

Williams had attracted interest from several clubs ahead of the summer transfer window and his performances at Euro 2024 will have done little to dissuade the circling clubs.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona have all registered their interest in the winger, and reports earlier this month claimed that Mikel Arteta had made Williams a ‘preferred target’ to reinforce his attack.

Williams’ availability has also been made easier due to the €55 million (£46.5m) release clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao.

Nico Williams has been one of Spain’s standout stars at Euro 2024 (Getty)

According to Spanish newspaper Sport, Chelsea have made an approach for Williams through an intermediary, however, the Premier League side have been told that the winger’s preference is to join Barcelona.

The report claims that Chelsea have been advised to be patient during negotiations and that they could take advantage of Barcelona’s financial situation with the La Liga club needing to sell in order to bring new players in.

Chelsea have indicated that they are prepared to meet Williams’ release clause as well as pay the winger a signing-on fee between €15m (£12.7m) and €20m (£16.9m).

When asked about his future last week, Williams said: ‘Everything that comes from outside is good, it means I’m doing my job well. Every kid dreams of being noticed by big clubs.

‘I’m focused on doing well at the European Championship and whatever comes after that I’ll find out because these days I’m totally disconnected.’

In an interview with Sport last week, Spain and Barcelona winger Lamine Yamal made it clear that he is keen to see Williams join him at Camp Nou.

‘We get along very well, and you can see that on the pitch too, that we are very close, that we are very good friends, and that is the most important thing to have the connection on the pitch,’ Yamal said.

‘I wish Nico could come to Barca.’

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