‘Deal agreed in principle’ for £48.8m Aston Villa and Chelsea target

Nico Williams has scored one goal and assisted another for Spain at UEFA EURO 2024.Nico Williams has scored one goal and assisted another for Spain at UEFA EURO 2024.
Nico Williams has scored one goal and assisted another for Spain at UEFA EURO 2024. | Getty Images
Aston Villa and Chelsea target Nico Williams has reportedly ‘agreed a deal in principle’ to sign for his next club.

The Athletic Bilbao wonderkid, one of Spain’s star players on the route to the UEFA EURO 2024 final, has reportedly decided to commit to a summer transfer.

Williams has been adamant about staying at boyhood club Athletic but his mind appears to have changed. The winger’s most recent campaign was his best to date as he scored eight goals and made 19 assists in 37 matches. The season before was also eye-catching as he directly contributed to 15 goals in 43 appearances.

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Available for a bargain €58 million (£48.8 million) release clause, the 21-year-old Pamplona native would be a snip for any potential suitor. Aston Villa and Chelsea - along with a host of other Premier League sides - have been determined to land Williams’ signature but it seems he will remain in his home country instead.

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Spanish publication Sport reports Barcelona met with Williams’ representatives last week and, following lengthy negotiations, struck an agreement on personal terms. All that awaits for the transfer to be finalised is Barça activating the release clause and the formalities of the deal to be ironed out.

Aston Villa and Chelsea transfer hijack unlikely but possible

There’s still time for the likes of Villa and Chelsea to swoop in but Williams looks set on staying in La Liga. An opportunity to rise under a new era at Barcelona alongside fellow wonderkid and countryman Lamine Yamal is rather difficult to turn down, after all.

Unai Emery is eager to bring in another wide attacking option at Villa Park but, barring any late changes, he will have to move on from Williams and look elsewhere.

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