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Nico Williams 'agrees to join Barcelona on a free transfer'

Nico Williams 'agrees to join Barcelona on a free transfer'
© Reuters
Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams allegedly agrees to join Barcelona on a free transfer next summer.

Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams has reportedly agreed to make the move to Barcelona on a free transfer when his contract at San Mames expires next June.

There has been a host of speculation surrounding the 21-year-old's future in recent months, with Athletic working to sign him to a new contract, with his existing terms due to expire in the summer of 2024.

A recent report claimed that Williams was on the verge of signing a new deal at San Mames, potentially with a reduced release clause, which could lead to a transfer at the end of the season.

However, according to journalist Enric Canyellas, the Spain international has now agreed to make the move to Barcelona on a free transfer next summer.

Canyellas claims that Williams has decided not to continue with Athletic and will leave in a similar manner to Inigo Martinez, who departed the Basque outfit for Barcelona on a free this summer.

Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams in action with Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo de Paul on February 19, 2023© Reuters

A number of other clubs have been linked with the attacker, including Real Madrid, while Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa and Paris Saint-Germain have also been credited with an interest.

Williams came through the youth system at Athletic, progressing through the various age groups at the club before making his first-team debut in 2021.

The forward has since featured on 91 occasions for the Lions, scoring 12 goals and registering 11 assists in the process.

Williams, who is a 10-time Spain international, is yet to score in six La Liga appearances during the 2023-24 campaign, but he has provided four assists.

Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams reacts on March 1, 2023© Reuters

The attacker was named in the latest Spain squad for their Euro 2024 qualification matches against Scotland and Norway, but he has been forced to pull out through injury alongside Barcelona's Alejandro Balde.

"Nico Williams and Alejandro Balde have been called off due to physical problems after Spain's victory against Scotland (2-0)," read a statement from La Roja.

"Williams has had a strain in his intercostal muscles since last Tuesday, while Balde suffers discomfort in his adductors."

Athletic will now be sweating over the fitness of Williams for their next match against Barcelona after the international break.

Barcelona are believed to have made contact with the Spaniard's agent in the middle of September to discuss the possibility of him moving to Camp Nou next year.

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Spain's Nico Williams celebrates scoring against Georgia on September 8, 2023
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