Nico Williams looks all set to become the most sought-after prospect in Spanish football in the coming year, as the forward’s contract at Athletic Club expires at the end of the season.
Nico has witnessed incredible growth over the last couple of years, and it has not gone unnoticed, with various top European clubs, including Barcelona interested in his services.
Real Madrid join race to sign Nico Williams
However, according to a recent report from AS, Barcelona are set to face stiff competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid, who appear to have entered the race to sign Nico Williams.
As per the report, the Spanish giants have placed the young Athletic Club forward on their transfer wishlist.
The club’s management considers the 21-year-old an interesting option because of the growth shown by the player. His age profile also makes him a curious option for Los Blancos.
What makes Nico such an appealing target for Real Madrid, though, is indeed his growth. At just 21, the forward has racked up almost 100 competitive appearances for Athletic Club while also winning ten caps for the Spanish national team.
Nico Williams’ release clause
The fact that Nico Williams’ contract at Athletic Club expires at the end of the season means Real Madrid have an excellent market opportunity to sign him on a free transfer next summer.
But there is one potential obstacle Real Madrid could face. With English clubs also interested, they might consider signing the forward in January by paying Athletic a fortune.
As per the report, Nico Williams has a release clause worth €50 million in his contract, which if activated, can allow clubs to sign him in the January transfer window.
Athletic Club, for their part, are working hard to renew his contract. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how things transpire in the coming months.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo