A report in Spain claims Manchester United have joined a couple of big-hitters in the hunt to sign Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed an excellent start to the season, with 13 starts among 14 LaLiga appearances. He has bagged three league goals while also finding the target as Los Leones beat Alzira 2-0 in the Copa del Rey first round. And with four assists to his name as well, the youngster’s stock has risen considerably during the past three months.
Having made two substitute appearances in 2020-2021, the talented wide man enjoyed his breakthrough season last term.
He was handed 34 top-flight outings, with 11 starts and responded with a string of impressive performances.
And the former Basconia forward received a first call-up to the Spain squad in September this year.
He opened his international goal account against Jordan in a friendly and has been included in Luis Enrique’s World Cup squad.
Unsurprisingly, a few clubs have expressed an interest in the youngster.
Liverpool have been heavily linked. And earlier his week it was revealed that Jurgen Klopp has sent a scout to monitor his progress at the upcoming showpiece.
Erik ten Hag’s tenure is only a few months old but he has already made a number of changes.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been marginalised and looks to be heading out of the exit door in January.
Therefore there will be a need for fresh blood and Williams certainly fits the bill.
Meteoric rise could end in Williams big-money move
Williams is a player to excite the fans, with a direct style that looks to put the opposition on the back foot. And, at such a tender age, he has the majority of his career ahead of him.
It is inevitable that he will move at some stage of his career but Athletic Club will not want to lose one of their prized assets.
However, he is under contract at the Basque club only until the summer of 2024. That means the San Mames outfit will need to act swiftly to tie him down to new terms.
Although not expected to start for La Roja, a decent showing in Qatar will undoubtedly ramp up interest in Williams.
There has been no mention of a price tag but, with the current inflated market, he will not come cheap.
And the likes of Liverpool or United might look to secure a deal in January or look towards next summer.
Real another option for flying winger
Williams is the younger brother of Athletic forward Inaki and the duo regularly play together for the Spanish side.
They have helped the club to fourth spot in the league standings but will not play in the same World Cup team.
That is because Inaki has pledged his allegiance to Ghana, with the siblings’ parents both from the African nation.
Nico has another suitor in the form of Real Madrid. And it may be that Los Blancos have more pull than either of the Premier League clubs when it comes to his future career.
The Bernabeu outfit sit second in the table, just two points adrift of table-topping Barcelona.
The lure of Real is tough to ignore for a Spain international. But, as ever in football, money will talk and it may be that Liverpool or the Red Devils can offer a better all-round package.
Whatever happens, it seems as though the starlet has the footballing world at his feet.
Manchester United may not be the club they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.
But Ten Hag has certainly got them moving in the right direction and they remain a big name in the sport for any up-and-coming player.