July 20, 2024

Laporta Issues Chelsea, Liverpool Warning With Williams Barcelona Claim

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Money has also been saved on Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix returning to Manchester City and Atletico Madrid respectively.

FILE PHOTO: PICTURE: Williams has said he doesn’t want to think about his future until after Euro 2024. Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

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SPAIN: Barcelona chief Joan Laporta delivers Chelsea, Liverpool blow in Nico Williams race.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that the La Liga giants “can commit” to the signing of Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams.

The 21-year-old has developed into an important player for both club and Spain, initially contributing five goals and 11 assists in 31 La Liga appearances this season.

That has contributed to Williams being trusted in his nation’s starting lineup at Euro 2024, chipping in with one goal and one assist from four starts.

As recently as December, Williams penned a new long-term contract with Bilbao, extending his stay at the club until the end of 2026-27.

Nevertheless, it has been widely reported that there is interest from the Premier League, most notably from the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Barcelona at front of Williams queue?

There have been suggestions in the past that Williams may be prepared to remain at his current team for a further 12 months in order to boost his chances of eventually moving to Camp Nou.

With Barcelona having struggled financially for a number of years, the perception has been that a transfer before the end of August is highly unrealistic.

Instead, Laporta has indicated that Barcelona will soon be in a position where they can meet Williams’s release clause, which allegedly stands at £53m.

Speaking to Catalunya Radio, Laporta said: “Economically speaking, we could commit to the signing of Nico Williams.

“Nico’s a player I like, I like him a lot. We are working with [coach Hansi] Flick on possible signings. Now we have to leave [sporting director] Deco to close the operations we are working on.

“Shortly we will be able to announce some good news with regard to the financial [issues] and we will be back within La Liga’s Fair Play limits. And that will allow further good news in terms of [signings].”

What business has been conducted by Barcelona thus far?

As expected, Barcelona have not brought in any fresh faces at this point in the transfer window, but there have been three notable departures.

Sergino Dest has departed for PSV Eindhoven, while Marcos Alonso and Sergi Roberto have each left on free transfers.

Money has also been saved on Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix returning to Manchester City and Atletico Madrid respectively.

That said, Clement Lenglet, Eric Garcia, Julian Araujo, Pablo Torre and Ansu Fati are all back on the books after their loan stints away from Barcelona during 2023-24.

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