Newcastle United are reportedly keeping close tabs on highly-rated Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams ahead of a potential move in January.
The 21-year-old is considered to be one of the most exciting young players in Europe. Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Barcelona all hold an interest in him.
With that in mind, Newcastle have a fight on their hands if they want to win the race for Williams’ signature.
The Spain international broke onto the scene in 2020 and has gradually become one of Athletic Bilbao’s most important players.
Last season, Williams made 43 appearances in all competitions, scoring nine goals and making six assists. He also played a key role in helping his team reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
The attacker has continued his excellent form this season, too, laying on four assists in as many starts in LaLiga so far.
As mentioned, Williams has plenty of interest from teams across Europe.
Man Utd are considering a January move for the Spaniard as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho, who is still banished from the first-team squad.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will reportedly push for Williams if Mohamed Salah leaves the club this winter.
It now seems, however, that Barcelona and Newcastle could rival the Premier League duo for Williams.
According to Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona have ‘made contact’ with Williams as Xavi eyes a move for him. The Catalans are said to be ‘wary’ about Premier League competition, however.
The report claims that Newcastle are ‘following Williams’ situation closely,’ while Aston Villa, Liverpool and Man Utd are also in the race.
The winger’s contract with Athletic Bilbao expires at the end of the season and includes a €50m (£42.9m) release clause. Bilbao are working hard to tie him down to a new deal but have so far failed with their efforts.
Due to financial issues, Barcelona would prefer to sign him a free transfer at the end of the season. Newcastle, however, could beat the LaLiga champions to Williams by making a bid for him in January – and the same goes for Man Utd, Liverpool and Aston Villa.
With that in mind, we could potentially see a bidding war take place for Williams when the transfer window re-opens, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
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