Arsenal could receive £55m transfer green light after huge Nico Williams decision

Raphinha of FC Barcelona is challenged by Nico Williams of Athletic Club during the LaLiga Santander match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on March 12, 2023 in Bilbao, Spain.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images))

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta could be significantly impacted by a huge Barcelona transfer decision this summer, with Athletic Club star Nico Williams a target of both clubs.

The 21-year-old, who has starred at Euro 2024 with Spain, recently signed a new contract, which is said to include a release clause in the region of €60million (£51m). Though Barcelona have struggled financially for some time, club president Joan Laporta has hinted they may be able to afford it.

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 [manager 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]."

Arsenal are interested in strengthening out wide, following their Benjamin Sesko rejection, with Williams as Arteta's preferred signing; however, Barcelona moving for the winger could actually allow the north Londoners to complete a two-year transfer mission.

Back when he was at Leeds United, the Gunners were keen to bring Raphinha to Emirates Stadium, but he ultimately chose to join Barcelona in a £55million deal. However, if Barcelona sign Williams, Raphinha could be allowed to leave, with Lamine Yamal ahead of him in the pecking order.

READ MORE: Timber decision, Jorginho role - Dream Arsenal lineup after £42m Riccardo Calafiori transfer

READ MORE: David Beckham shows true colours with eight-word message to Arsenal star Bukayo Saka

A sensational swap deal between Arsenal and Barcelona for Raphinha has been mooted, which would see €35million (£30m) and Eddie Nketiah head to Camp Nou. According to reports in Spain, via Teamtalk, sporting director Edu has been in contact with Barcelona chief Deco over a possible move.

With that in mind, Arsenal could finally sign Raphinha if they chose to or alternatively make a push for Williams ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.