Athletic Club fumes after Nico Williams 'terms agreed' reports for Liverpool-linked Euro 2024 star

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

Barcelona could be about to deal a transfer blow to Liverpool's plans after it was reported Spain star Nico Williams has agreed to personal terms with the Catalan side. But his current club, Athletic Club, released a statement fuming at the rumors.

Williams has been arguably the player of the tournament during the European Championships this summer, having helped Spain reach Sunday's final where it will take on England.

Operating on the left wing, Williams and teenager Lamine Yamal have formed an electrifying tandem capable of turning full-backs inside out. The 21-year-old has a release fee clause in the contract he inked in December 2023, which is reported to be around the $62million (£49m/€57m) mark.

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Spanish outlet Sport, among others, recently claimed Barcelona is edging closer to landing the in-form winger after striking an agreement for Williams' personal terms. But on Thursday, Athletic Club hit back.

"Nico, a player who is committed to Athletic, has been subjected to a bombardment of questions about his future in an excessive and uncontrolled manner while at the European Championships," club president Jon Uriarte said in a statement on Thursday. "The RFEF have not been able to protect him. Respect between all the actors who make up football is a fundamental basis - or that's how we view it at Athletic - which does not include subjecting players with contracts at one club to public pressure to join other clubs."

Athletic Club added in a statement: "Athletic Club is economically, socially and sportingly capable of keeping footballers of the calibre of those named in its structure, including Nico Williams."

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Nico Williams has reportedly reached an agreement over a summer transfer
Nico Williams has reportedly reached an agreement over a summer transfer -Credit:Getty Images

The purportedly agreed upon personal terms are likely to be hefty because Athletic Club only fields Basque players, so it is able to utilize its strong financial position to pay big wages to their stars, like it has done recently with Unai Simon and Dani Vivian.

Even if Barcelona have agreed to terms with Williams, the most important part of the negotiation will be with Athletic Club, which is not under any pressure to sell the flying winger.

"Athletic aspires to the maximum, without limits. We are showing that we have an attractive and winning project for our players and coach," wrote the club. "The proof is that we have recently renewed two of our internationals, Simón (2029) and Vivian (2031), Nico signed last year until 2027, and coveted players such as Sancet, Prados, Julen Agirrezabala, and Paredes have also been committed for several seasons, to give some examples."