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Barcelona transfer news: Euro 2024 star Nico Williams 'selects' next club

Decision made? Williams 'selects' next club amid Barca, Arsenal, Liverpool talk
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Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams is reportedly determined to secure a move to Barcelona this summer over the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams is reportedly determined to secure a move to Barcelona during this summer's transfer window despite substantial interest from the Premier League.

The 21-year-old was in strong form at club level during the 2023-24 campaign, scoring eight goals and registering 19 assists in 39 appearances in all competitions.

Williams is currently in action for Spain at Euro 2024, starting both of their matches against Croatia and Italy, which have ended in 3-0 and 1-0 wins respectively for La Roja.

The forward signed a new deal at San Mames last December, but there is understood to be a release clause of around €55m (£47m) in his current contract.

Williams put in a man-of-the-match performance against Italy in Spain's last European Championship battle, and he has been one of the most impressive players at the tournament thus far.

Spain's Nico Williams in action with Italy's Federico Chiesa on June 20, 2024© Reuters

Williams was Spain's man of the match against Italy

Ahead of Euro 2024, Williams told reporters: "I am very happy. It is the club that has given me everything, the one that has bet on me 100%. I am quite clear, in the end, as I have told you, Athletic is my home."

Meanwhile, Athletic president Jon Uriarte has said: "The interest is normal but Nico is very happy in Bilbao. We're very happy with him. We're not worried."

However, due to the presence of a release clause in his deal, it is thought to be likely that the attacker will be on the move before the end of the summer transfer window.

According to HITC, despite talks with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, Williams is holding out for a move to Barcelona.

The report claims that discussions have also taken place with Aston Villa and Newcastle United, but the player's representatives have made it clear that Barcelona are his first choice.

Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams scores against Atletico Madrid on February 29, 2024© Reuters

Williams 'wants to join Barcelona this summer'

Barcelona have financial problems, but the likes of Ferran Torres and Raphinha are being linked with exits, which could open up space in the budget to move for Williams.

Lamine Yamal, 16, is currently operating on the opposite side to Williams in the Spain team, and the two players could potentially become club teammates next season.

Williams has represented Athletic on 122 occasions, scoring 20 goals and registering 26 assists in the process, boasting a record of 11 goals and 19 assists in 103 matches in La Liga.

Robert Lewandowski is set to stay at Barcelona this summer despite some talk surrounding his future, so if Raphinha leaves, it could be a Yamal, Lewandowski, Williams front three for Hansi Flick's side next term.

A decision on Williams's future is not expected to be made until after Euro 2024, though, and Spain are currently preparing to conclude their Group B campaign against Albania on Monday night, with Luis de la Fuente's side already through to the round of 16 as section winners.

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Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams in action with Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo de Paul on February 19, 2023
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Euro 2024 fixtures header

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Tables header RHS

Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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