‘Chelsea not advancing’: What transfer insider has been ‘told’ about Liverpool and Nico Williams

Posted by

Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have been credited with ongoing interest in Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Blues ‘are not advancing’ for the attacker this summer, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.

Likewise, it remains to be seen whether the Merseysiders’ appreciation for the 21-year-old will evolve.

“What I’m told now, is that although the appreciation remains, Chelsea are not advancing on Williams, because of the cost of the deal. He has a €58m release clause but also an important salary – he’s already earning important money at Athletic Bilbao and Chelsea believe his demands are very big,” the CaughtOffside columnist told The Daily Briefing.

“Williams was also on the list at Bayern, though they’re now signing Olise, while there’s also been strong interest from Barcelona. Arsenal and Liverpool have also been following the situation, but there’s still nothing advanced.

“We’ll see what happens after the Euros, because he’s doing fantastic for Spain and so maybe some of these clubs will decide to go strong on this one.

“Williams has really impressed me, becoming one of the faces of the Euros so far after also performing at such a high level for Athletic Bilbao, and it’s been a good tournament for young players in general, with Lamine Yamal also getting the chance to impress for Spain, while Joao Neves – the Benfica wonderkid with a €120m release clause – is another who has really caught my eye with Portugal.”

Spain are currently on course to top their European Championship group; a win over Albania would see them secure nine points from all three meetings in Group B.

Follow Empire of the Kop on Instagram (@empireofthekop) HERE

READ MORE: ‘Very strange’: Nico Williams goes public on his future amid Liverpool transfer links

READ MORE: ‘Deal signed’: Fabrizio Romano breaks ‘huge’ move for Brazilian wonderkid this afternoon – Rival Watch

Wages will be a barrier for Edwards, Hughes and Co.

Nico Williams in training with Spain – (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Spanish international, allegedly on over £169,000-a-week (according to Capology’s unverified estimate), may very well challenge the wage structure of any interested club.

For an outfit that prizes sustainability, it’s difficult to see such a wage packet (let alone an increase) being approved so early in Williams’ development.

To put things into perspective, the footballer’s current terms would see him made the fifth-highest earner at Liverpool. Just shy of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£180,000-a-week) but beyond Alisson Becker’s £150,000-a-week wages.

How Richard Hughes and Co. would get around this hurdle would be fascinating to watch. Might a lower basic wage with heavy incentives do the trick?

Or will Williams’ potential demands prove too prohibitive for a move? Only time will tell.

EOTK Close-up with John Welsh: ‘a local lad who lived his dream’ and Slot’s LFC predictions

More Stories Fabrizio Romano Liverpool Nico Williams