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Arsenal and Chelsea handed Nico Williams transfer deadline as Barcelona drop bombshell update

Nico Williams of Spain and Athletic Bilbao
-Credit: (Image: Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)


Barcelona president Joan Laporta says his club does have the finances to pinch Nico Williams from the grasp of Chelsea and Arsenal, with the player reportedly keen to sort out his future soon.

The Spanish giants are battling mass debts that restrict their spending within La Liga finance rules, but Laporta insists they have enough headspace to land Athletic Bilbao star Williams, who is said to be favouring a move to the Nou Camp over the Premier League.

A report from Sport claims Williams will not initially consider offers from other clubs amid his tunnel-vision for a Barcelona switch and has set a soft deadline for La Blaugrana, telling them not to wait until the last minute to strike a deal.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been connected with interest in the Spain winger, who has been one of the standout players at Euro 2024. There have been questions over whether any of them would pay out his reported £49m release clause, though.

Rumours suggest that Williams has not categorically ruled out a move to England but is giving Barcelona priority over a deal. And speaking to Catalunya Radio this week, Laporta has assured fans that his club does have the financial capability to land the 21-year-old.

"Economically speaking, we could commit to the signing of Nico Williams,” Laporta said. "Nico's a player I like, I like him a lot. We are working with [coach Hansi] Flick on possible signings.

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“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]."

Speaking last month, Williams had said he would be content if he ended up staying at Athletic Bilbao. He told reporters: “I have already said that Bilbao is my home. I just renewed recently and I’m very very happy here.”