Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Liverpool are among the clubs interested in Athletic Club and Spain winger Nico Williams, reports the Mirror from England.
Williams, 21, has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents in La Liga over the past year or so and has also carved out a place for himself in the Spanish national team.
No shortage of admirers
The young attacker’s future had been a matter of much speculation a few months ago as his contract with Athletic Club was expiring at the end of the season.
However, Williams went ahead and signed a new contract with the Basque club, committing until the summer of 2027.
As such, the young winger is unlikely to come cheap in the summer transfer window. Despite that, there appears to be no shortage of suitors for the Spaniard.
Indeed, Real Madrid are among the clubs linked with Nico, as are Liverpool and Arsenal, with the latter even scouting him extensively. Aston Villa are also believed to be admirers of the 21-year-old.
Not a priority for Real Madrid
However, since then, the chatter has cool down, especially with Los Blancos diverting their complete focus on signing Kylian Mbappe.
The 25-year-old French superstar is the top priority to reinforce the attacking unit for Real Madrid in the summer. As such, there does not appear to be any plan in place to make a move for young Nico Williams at this point.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.