Arne Slot 'gives FSG green light' for first marquee Liverpool transfer

Nico Williams of Spain
-Credit: (Image: Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

New Liverpool manager Arne Slot has reportedly approved the first big transfer at his new club this summer. It's claimed the Dutchman, who officially took over from Jurgen Klopp at the start of this month, has given the green light for transfer chiefs to pursue a move for Nico Williams.

The Spanish ace starred for his country in its European Championship encounter against Italy. He caught the eye in a 1-0 win and did his chances of a big summer transfer no harm.

The Athletic Bilbao winger, 21 has a has a $53.4m (£42.2m/€50m) release clause in his contract, which runs until June 2027. According to CaughtOffside, Slot is a fan of Williams and has given his approval to his signing this summer.

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While Liverpool is said to be interested and Slot is keen, it's also claimed that FSG and new sporting director Richard Hughes know a deal will be complicated. There are various other teams interested in Williams, including the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

And the player himself recently insisted he is happy in Bilbao, where he recently signed a new contract. "I’m very happy at Athletic [Club, Bilbao],” he said (via Liverpool World). "It’s the club that has given me everything, the one that has bet on me 100 per cent. It’s my home. I’m very happy.

"And what I want to do is focus on the European Championship 100 per cent. Otherwise, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have told my agent that I don’t want to know anything until the end of the European Championship."

If Williams does decide to stay at Athletic Bilbao, he would be making the same decision as brother Inaki, who was also linked with Liverpool but stayed put in 2019. He explained the decision to AS in a 2022 interview.

"I had an option to leave," Inaki Williams said when asked how close he came to joining Liverpool. "There were contacts in which I kept my position clear. It’s nice that clubs like this try to get you, but I was always clear that I want to be at Athletic."