Is Nico Williams leaving Athletic Bilbao? Release clause, transfer news and Liverpool links

Spain and Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams
-Credit: (Image: ANP via Getty Images)

Love it or loathe it, international football always manages to prove itself to be a shop window for some of the best players in world football.

Euro 2024 and Copa America are no different and already on this continent, we have seen players showcase their talents. One of the top performers for Spain so far this tournament has been Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams.

The 21-year-old shone in both of their opening victories against Croatia and Italy as Spain manoeuvered towards the top of the list of favourites. Williams even picked up the Man of the Match award in the victory over the Italians.

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Unsurprisingly, this has got many talking about his future and whether he will be staying at the Basque club beyond this summer. The ECHO has taken a closer look at where his future could lie.

Liverpool links

According to The Athletic, new manager Arne Slot has discussed Williams as a potential target if a winger is needed for his project. It is believed the 19 assists the Spaniard amassed last season have turned the Reds' head.

They are not alone in their interest though. Arsenal and Chelsea are both thought to be keen on his signature too with the latter perhaps keen to make their feelings clearer soon after pulling out of a move for Crystal Palace's Michael Olise.

Athletic release clause

There have been conflicting reports as to what Williams' release clause at Bilbao is. However, the consensus appears to be that a fee between £43m and £49m would be enough to activate the clause and leave the decision in the hands of the player.

What Williams and Athletic have said?

Both Williams and Bilbao seem confident that the winger's future at least in the short-term is at the Basque club. Speaking in a recent press conference, the forward said: "I’m very happy at Athletic.

"It’s the club that has given me everything, the one that has bet on me 100 per cent. It’s my home. I’m very happy.

"And what I want to do is focus on the European Championship 100 per cent. Otherwise, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have told my agent that I don’t want to know anything until the end of the European Championship."

Meanwhile, Athletic's president Jon Uriarte added: "We have impressive talent in the squad. When things are like this, it’s normal that there are players who arouse interest, but we’re not here to talk about rumours.

"Nico is happy in Bilbao and at Athletic and we’re very happy with Nico. We don’t worry about or pay attention to rumours. We’re focused on creating an attractive project for all our players, fighting for titles and competing in Europe."

Williams verdict

Ultimately, it seems this move would be right for Liverpool. Williams is a great prospect and would add value to the squad.

However, this summer appears to be too soon for that deal to be made a reality. His release clause is realistic but if the player does not want to leave and his club do not want to sell, there is very little the Reds can do.

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