Inside Spain: Kylian Mbappe’s arrival, Chelsea give up on forward and tension over Nico Williams

Inside Spain is a weekly instalment brought to you by Football España, providing an insight into all of the major stories coming out of the rich and intense climes of La Liga and beyond.

Spain have by most people’s estimates been the best side at Euro 2024, and their victory over France was met with the euphoria of genuine moment that will go down in history – Lamine Yamal’s golazo.

In Iberia, Spain are no doubt regarded as favourites, and while there is optimism, and a belief that La Roja are the better team, England’s knack for finding a way in extremis, and the underperforming quality in their ranks has brought with it a certain cautiousness ahead of Sunday. The good atmosphere around the Spain squad has been one of the most visible reasons to believe in their side though.

That atmosphere has been felt throughout Spain, but a little less in Bilbao. Although their players are a key reason for their success, the constant speculation surrounding Nico Williams, linked with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona, has rubbed Athletic Club up the wrong way. President Jon Uriarte criticised Barcelona counterpart Joan Laporta for publicly declaring an interest – Williams reportedly has agreed personal terms with the Blaugrana.

Arsenal intend to compete with Barcelona for Mikel Merino by all accounts too, but there Mikel Arteta may have more reason for optimism. Chelsea are also interested in Williams still, even if they are looking at alternatives, but they have given up on Atletico Madrid’s Samu Omorodion, as per the latest in Spain.

Real Madrid can finally present Kylian Mbappe as their ultimate galactico signing on Tuesday at noon at the Santiago Bernabeu after France were knocked out – already there is a 4-6 week wait for ‘Mbappe 9’ shirts.

Their efforts are now focused on Leny Yoro, who they have agreed terms with. Manchester United are trying to persuade him to change his mind and head to Old Trafford though, and the fact that Los Blancos have identified an alternative to Yoro is perhaps a reason for a little optimism for Erik ten Hag.

Alvaro Morata’s future remains in the air with talk that he will U-turn on his decision to stay in Spain, and head to AC Milan. United’s Donny van de Beek has arrived in Girona to sign with the Champions League side. Finally, a warning to the England squad, just avoid the topic of Lamine Yamal in press conferences, Adrien Rabiot wasn’t even that critical of him, and it did not end well for him.


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