Athletic Bilbao president reveals Nico Williams transfer stance as Arsenal target clause 'confirmed'

Nico Williams speaks during a Spain press conference at Euro 2024
-Credit: (Image: Christopher Lee - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao president, Jon Uriarte, has provided an update on Nico Williams' future. The 21-year-old continues to be linked with a move to Arsenal as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his Arsenal frontline this summer.

Williams, who sees his contract at the San Mamés Stadium expire in June 2027, featured 31 times in La Liga last season, scoring five goals and providing 14 assists. Playing a key role in Ernesto Valverde's side, he helped Athletic Bilbao finish fifth in the Spanish top flight and secure Europa League qualification.

The winger also led Los Leones to Copa del Rey glory, ending a run of six successive final defeats in the competition and a 40-year trophy drought. Not only did Williams' impressive performances for Athletic Bilbao earn him a place in Spain starting lineup at Euro 2024, but he also courted the interest of some top clubs. understands that Arsenal have been monitoring Williams, who's capable of playing on either flank as well as leading the line. Despite interest from the Gunners, Uriarte remains confident that the youngster will stay at Athletic Bilbao.

"We have impressive talent in the squad," said the club president, as quoted by TribalFootball. "When things are like this, it's normal that there are players who arouse interest, but we're not here to talk about rumours.

"Nico is happy in Bilbao and at Athletic and we're very happy with Nico. We don't worry about or pay attention to rumours. We're focused on creating an attractive project for all our players, fighting for titles and competing in Europe."

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Uriarte added: "The club has room for economic manoeuvre to sign players. We had to be able to ensure that the investment did not penalise the expenses.

"We had to balance the accounts and boost the income. That has been our way of acting. At the club we are always aware of what is on the market and identify opportunities."

Earlier this month, WIlliams told Spanish radio station Cope that he wishes to resolve his future after this summer's European Championship. He said: "I am very happy at Athletic. It is the club that has given me everything, it is the club that has bet on me 100 per cent.

"I am very happy in Bilbao and that is what I have to say. I have it quite clear. Athletic is my home, I am very happy and what I want to do is focus on the Euros, which is very important because if you are not 100 per cent in a competition like this, it will pass you by and the rest.

"I do not know what is going to happen. I have told my representatives that I do not want to know anything until the Euros is over. I am 100 per cent focused and my desire is to win the Euros."

According to Fabrizio Romano on Instagram, Williams' contract includes a €58m (£49m) release clause and it's now ready to be activated. The report adds that three Premier League clubs are interested in the Spaniard, as well as Barcelona, who are under immense pressure to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.