Aston Villa have once again been tipped to return to try and sign Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams this summer.
As per the Daily Mail’s Dominic King last month, Villa were prepared to pay the talented youngster’s £45m release clause to prise him away, but he ultimately opted to stay in Bilbao.
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However, with his current contract set to expire in June 2024, this summer could be an important juncture in his future, as he’s likely to either sign a new long-term deal and commit his future to Athletic, or if an agreement can’t be reached, they may look to sell before risking losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
Earlier this week, Sport reported that Villa will return for Williams at the end of the season.
Now, according to the Daily Mail’s Tom Collomosse, Villa will rekindle our interest in Williams in the summer as Emery is said to be ‘determined’ to sign a winger, and it’s added that the hierarchy will back him ‘heavily’ in the next transfer window as he looks to construct his own squad.
As noted above, this isn’t the first report post-January transfer window that has suggested that Villa will try again for Williams, and so it’s starting to feel as though the 20-year-old was perhaps our priority target last month, and having fallen short in our attempt to sign him, we were willing to wait for the summer rather than sign an alternative.
Bertrand Traore has been recalled from his loan spell in Turkey and so could be a short-term solution for Emery between now and the end of the season, but time will tell if Williams is the long-term fix that he’s desperate to bring in to play on the right side.
The Spanish international has been in fine form so far this season as he’s contributed six goals and six assists in 25 appearances across all competitions, and it certainly feels as though he’s taking an important step forward in his progression.
With speculation linking him with a move to Villa this summer not only refusing to go away but seemingly gathering early momentum, time will tell if he is indeed our top target and whether or not we’re successful the second time round in trying to prise him away from Spain to join Emery’s squad.