Arsenal ‘ready to pay’ £49m to sign Euro 2024 star with chances of Chelsea hijack ‘uncertain’

Lewis Oldham
Spain Italy Nico Williams
Spain's Nico Williams dribbles past Italy's Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Arsenal have reportedly been provided a boost as they attempt to beat Premier League rivals in the race to sign Spain international Nico Williams.

The 21-year-old has burst onto the scene this season as he’s grabbed eight goals and 19 assists in his 37 appearances for Athletic Bilbao across all competitions.

Williams has taken his great form with him to Euro 2024 as he has shone for Spain as they have started the tournament with wins over Croatia and Italy.

His performances for Athletic Bilbao and Spain are expected to lead to him securing a summer transfer this summer amid interest from several Premier League and European clubs.

Arsenal have been mooted as a possible destination as they are understood to be in the market for a new winger to compete with England international Bukayo Saka for starts.

The Premier League giants have been warned that the internal ‘reaction’ to Williams’ arrival could ‘spiral out of control’ as a result of his high wage demands, but they appear to be pushing ahead with the signing.

According to a report from Caught Offside, Arsenal are ‘ready to pay his €58million (£49m) release clause’ to sign him this summer, but Chelsea are ‘expected to hold further talks with his representatives’.

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The report explains: ‘Sources with a close understanding of Williams’ situation have informed CaughtOffside that there is a long list of suitors pursuing the Spain international this summer, though it’s suggested that Arsenal and Chelsea are the ones advancing for the moment.

‘Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also all like the player, but this is not anticipated to be a simple or cheap deal to get done, and that’s caused uncertainty among some parties.

‘It has been widely reported that Chelsea are also unsure about being able to afford Williams, but CaughtOffside have been told that the Blues have not ended their interest yet, and will hold further discussions to work out if an agreement can be struck.’

Chelsea have been linked with Williams as they scour the market for potential alternatives to Michael Olise, who is set to sign for Bayern Munich.

But they could miss out on the two wingers for the same reason, as reports suggest the Palace star’s ‘wage demands blocked a move’ to Stamford Bridge.

‘Chelsea’s quest for a right winger continues to be a priority, especially after missing out on Olise. They have been suggestions that the club will look to bolster the left-side of their front-line but we understand that a right-winger remains to be the area in which they wish to boost.

‘Sources close to the situation revealed that Olise’s wage demands, around £220,000 per week, were a significant stumbling block.

‘While Chelsea had the financial capability to meet these demands, they were unwilling to disrupt their wage structure for Olise, who has since chosen to leave for Bayern Munich.’

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