Liverpool to leave Aston Villa raging with £44m bid for electric attacker mooted

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Aston Villa boss Unai Emery

Aston Villa could have their plans for an electric forward wrecked a second time, with Liverpool now emerging as a genuine threat to hijack a £44m deal, per a report.

Villa’s intentions heading into the January window were to give Unai Emery free reign to revamp his squad. However, when all was said and done, very little had actually been achieved.

Indeed, a new starting left-back in the form of Alex Moreno was signed. However, the sale of striker Danny Ings was only offset by the arrival of the relatively inexperienced Jhon Duran from MLS side Chicago Fire.

Per the Daily Mail, Aston Villa had hoped to go big with a move for Athletic Bilbao flyer, Nico Williams.

The Spain international, 20, made several lively cameos off the bench at the World Cup and the presence of a €50m (approx. £44m) release clause appeared to make a deal simple.

However, despite Villa being willing to activate the clause, that step was never taken once it became apparent Williams would reject the move.

Despite a bright start under Emery, the threat of relegation still loomed large at the time. That may have played a part in Williams’ thinking, with the winger not even convinced by the promise of £120,000-a-week wages.

Williams had also attracted the attention of Liverpool who are understood to have scouted the Spaniard in Qatar.

Now, a fresh report from AS has put both clubs in the frame for a summer move. As such, Villa’s plans for Williams could be thwarted a second time, with Liverpool now the offender.

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Nico Williams can become Liverpool super sub

AS namecheck both clubs when as sizing up the player. Williams has bagged seven goals and six assists this term, though it’s his fearsome pace and ability to beat players one-v-one that is catching Liverpool’s eye more than his final output.

Indeed, a move to Anfield would likely see Williams – who plays predominantly on Mohamed Salah’s side – assume a role as an impact player off the bench.

As such, he’d be coming on late in games against tired defences, with the hope his blistering pace can cause problem after problem for the opposition.

Villa’s interest in the player has clearly not subsided and he’d stand a better chance of playing regularly at Villa Park. But if both clubs trigger the release clause, a move to Liverpool would arguably be more difficult to turn down.

Williams is under contract in Bilbao until the end of next season. To that end, the LaLiga side are understood to be hoping to tie him down to a longer term deal that could also see the release clause either removed, or at the very least raised in value.

Obviously, Liverpool and Villa will be hoping that scenario doesn’t transpire. A £44m move for one of Spain’s most threatening wingers who’s aged just 20 has the feel of a bargain-in-waiting.

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