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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners 'keen' on versatile £42m Spain international forward

Arsenal 'keen' on £42m Spain international forward
© Reuters
Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a move for highly-rated Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams this summer despite interest from several big-name clubs across Europe.

Arsenal are eyeing a move for highly-rated Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams in this summer's transfer window, according to a report.

Williams, who is set to represent Spain at Euro 2024, has caught the attention of several Premier League clubs this summer following his impressive performances in La Liga last season.

The 21-year-old played a crucial role in helping Ernesto Valverde's side secure a Europa League spot for next season, scoring eight goals and picking up an incredible 17 assists in 37 appearances.

The Spanish international is known for his versatility, capable of operating on both flanks and also slotting in as a centre forward.

Arsenal are believed to have prioritised signing a new striker this summer with current attacking duo Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah only managing nine goals between them last term.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta pictured on April 20, 2024© Reuters

Arteta pushing for Nico Williams deal this summer

According to football.london, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta along with transfer chief Edu, are personally driving the pursuit for the £200,000-per-week forward, and the Gunners hope to advance in talks over a deal this month.

The report adds that Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Barcelona are also keeping tabs on the highly-rated Spaniard.

While the player had previously indicated that he would be open to a move to Camp Nou, Blaugrana will likely struggle to cough up his release clause given their current financial constraints.

Williams came through Bilbao's youth ranks before breaking into the senior side in 2021, and is believed to have a £42m exit clause in his current contract at Estadio de San Mames.

The Gunners, on the other hand, do have the ability to meet Athletic Bilbao's valuation of Williams and are also able to guarantee him Champions League football next season, which is something the other English sides in the race for him are unable to offer.

Besides ranking as the second-highest assist provider in La Liga last season, Williams also topped the league in successful dribbles per game, outperforming players such as Vinicius Junior and Savio.

Spain's Nico Williams celebrates scoring against Georgia on September 8, 2023© Reuters

Williams 'only' focused on Euro 2024 success with Spain

The 21-year-old, who provided an assist in Spain's last Euro 2024 warm-up match against Northern Ireland over the past weekend, is set to feature in his second international tournament following his participation in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

In a recent interview, Williams indicated that he is not prepared to think about his club future at the moment, saying he is 'only' focused on the European Championship with Spain.

"I have [been] quite clear where I want to play next season," Williams told reporters.

"Athletic is my home. I am very happy. I have told my manager that I don't want to know anything until the Euro Cup is over."

La Roja get their Euro 2024 campaign underway on Saturday evening when they take on Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

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Tables header RHS

Group A

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

Group B

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

Group C

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

Group D

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

Group E

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

Group F

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


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