Liverpool ‘pay full release clause’ to ‘knock out’ Barcelona in winger race as Reds ‘listen to offers’ for star

Joe Williams
Liverpool transfer target Nico Williams
Nico Williams could reportedly replace Luis Diaz at Anfield.

Luis Diaz’s potential move away from Liverpool is set to ‘open the door’ for Nico Williams’ arrival at Anfield, according to reports.

The Reds have been linked with a number of wingers over the summer transfer window with their interest in Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon ending over the weekend.

Interest from Liverpool reportedly left Gordon’s ‘head in a mess’ as he was ‘denied his dream move’ from the Magpies to the Reds.

It is understood that ‘no bid was made and obvious from those conversations that Liverpool wouldn’t meet valuation’ but the England international ‘thought he had chance to join boyhood club’.

But now Liverpool could be set to move on to another winger target with reports in Spain claiming Liverpool will ‘pay the full release clause’ for Athletic Bilbao’s Williams amid interest from Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Liverpool will ‘knock out’ Barcelona in the race for Williams as they ‘interfere’ in the Catalan giants’ negotiations and ‘take the player [Hansi] Flick wanted’.

The arrival of Williams would be to ‘cover the more than likely vacancy that Luis Díaz will leave if his sale is confirmed’ with the Colombian’s potential departure allowing Liverpool to reignite their interest in the Athletic Bilbao winger.

His wage demands had previously proved too much for the Premier League side with Liverpool entering ‘reactivate negotiations to get the Athletic Club player’ after watching his positive performances at Euro 2024.

Williams is ‘asking’ for £300,000 a week but ‘the great difficulty they are facing is that the footballer would prefer to play for Barca’.

Barcelona’s financial situation could mean that they have to park interest in Williams and give Liverpool the upper hand as they look to strengthen their squad.

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Football Insider have also brought news that Liverpool ‘will listen to offers’ for Diaz this summer and the Colombia international ‘could be prised away from Anfield during the off-season amid interest from top clubs in Europe’.

The report adds: ‘Diaz could be the casualty if the new-look transfer committee at Liverpool manage to bring a new wide man to the club this summer.’

Charles Watts, who has covered Arsenal for years, recently gave an update on the likelihood of Williams moving to the Premier League this summer amid interest from the Gunners.

Watts wrote in his Caught Offside column: “If Nico Williams wasn’t already in the shop window ahead of Euro 2024, then he certainly is now.

“The Athletic Club winger has been electric for Spain and understandably he now has a lot of people talking about him as a potential transfer target this summer.

“Arsenal are admirers of the 21-year-old, but so are plenty of other of the top clubs across Europe and that interest is only going to increase as the tournament goes on.

“On paper, the release clause of around £50million for Williams looks a very appealing one, but as far as I’m aware it’s not as simple as that.

“You have to remember that release clauses in Spain have to be paid in full and that makes deals very expensive as clubs can’t spread the transfer fee out over the length of the contract like they usually do.

“But in Williams’ case, the wages are also understood to be a pretty significant issue. Athletic Club are big payers. They have to be to ensure they keep their team together given the unique way the club operates.

“So Williams is on good money and the word is that interested clubs have been surprised by the wages he would want to move this summer.”