Premier League • England

Chelsea to miss out on electric LaLiga winger Pochettino loves as Man Utd, Liverpool battle for signing

Chelsea look set to miss out on Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams

Chelsea look set to miss out on Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams

Chelsea will have to make some tough decisions in the summer transfer window as selling some of their best homegrown talents seems inevitable.

The Blues will be forced to part ways with some key players to fund their own transfer business, with Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah and Armando Broja among those on the chopping block.

Chelsea still have some ambitious plans for the summer, with a new prolific centre-forward thought to be Mauricio Pochettino’s priority.

The manager is also keen to strengthen in wide areas, however, and Athletic Bilbao star Nico Williams being one name that keeps coming up in his search.

Chelsea are known admirers of the supremely talented 21-year-old who played a key role in helping Bilbao – his boyhood club – to lift the Copa del Rey this season.

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Williams has made 30 appearances in total for Athletic this season, scoring six goals and making an impressive 14 assists in the process.

The winger is incredibly quick, dangerous in one vs one situations and also has tremendous work rate and an asset defensively as well as going forward.

Nico Williams tipped to snub Chelsea

Despite Chelsea being extremely interested in Williams and his release clause of €50m (£42.8m) being extremely tempting for them, the winger could turn down a switch to Stamford Bridge this summer.

According to Spanish outlet SportChelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been keeping tabs on the youngster’s performances, but his preference is to ‘remain in Spain.’

The report states that Williams’ ‘intention is to play for Athletic Bilbao in Europe next season.

The Basque club are two points away from a Champions League qualification spot and ‘that would be the dream’ for the winger, although they’ve already qualified for the Europa League.

Should Williams stay with Athletic for another season – as the report suggests – that would play into the hands of another of his suitors: Barcelona.

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The Catalans have ‘already made contact’ with Williams’ representatives and he is believed to be open to a move to the Camp Nou in the future.

Due to Barcelona’s financial issues, though, it’s likely to take another season before they’ll be able to afford to bring him in.

Chelsea could still trigger the €50m release clause in the Spain international’s contract, but convincing him to leave Athletic Bilbao this summer will be no easy task.

Man Utd and Liverpool may also try to lure Williams to the Premier League, but staying in LaLiga seems the most likely outcome for him at this stage.

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