Athletic Club fans were given a scare on Tuesday after prized star Nico Williams’ agent declared that no deal had been agreed to keep the 21-year-old at the club.
Those fears were somewhat allayed by Williams’ commenting later in the day that he was ‘clear on his choice’, with many taking that to mean committed to Athletic Club. Out of contract next summer, and the object of pursuit for Barcelona, Real Madrid and four more Premier League sides, including Aston Villa.
Speaking to Caught Offside as part of the Daily Briefing, Fabrizio Romano predicted that at the very least, he would be going nowhere for free.
“In my opinion he’s great footballer, probably underrated. He has big talent and potential.”
“But from what I’m hearing, he wants to stay and sign new deal probably with release clause included; he doesn’t want to betray Athletic by leaving as free agent. So it’s up to the club and their proposal now.”
The most recent information is that Williams is to pen a renewal for the coming years if it does not include an increase in his release clause, which is believed to be around €50m. This would thus allow Athletic Club a major income, while not limiting WIlliams in his potential destinations.
Signing a new deal would probably end the interest of Barcelona at the very least, who are likely looking to scavenge a cheaper deal with a free agent. Paying €50m for Williams would not fit in with the already tricky financial jenga at the Blaugrana.