Chelsea eye summer move for Athletic Bilbao star Nico Williams

Nico Williams - Chelsea eye summer move for Athletic Bilbao star Nico Williams
Nico Williams' recent form was rewarded with a new contract last year - Getty Images/Juan Manuel Serrano Arce

Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams is on Chelsea’s radar as the club begin to draw up their plans for the summer transfer window.

Although an out-and-out striker will be Chelsea’s priority, with Victor Osimhen and Benjamin Sesko among their top targets, the club have been impressed by the progress of  Williams.

Given how expensive a striker will be, a move for Williams may depend on how successfully Chelsea create funds by selling players.

The 21-year-old has a release clause in his Bilbao contract set at around £43 million, which is relatively affordable, but his wages are said to be expensive.

It is believed that Williams earns well over £100,000-a-week after tax in Spain, which would place him among Chelsea’s highest earners.

A move for Williams would also place question marks against the long-term futures of Raheem Sterling and possibly Mykhailo Mudryk.

Although he can play on either flank, Williams often starts on the left, which is where both Sterling and Mudryk play most regularly, although the Ukrainian was recently deployed as a No 10 by head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

There is no suggestion that Chelsea are looking to offload either Sterling or Mudryk this summer and both players remain committed to the club.

Sterling was the subject of an approach from Saudi Arabia last summer and may get another offer this year. He was not interested in the move last year and there is no indication that he would be this time around.

As reported by Telegraph Sport, Chelsea’s rivals believe the club need to raise at least £100 million by June 30 to be sure of complying with profitability and sustainability rules, a figure Chelsea refute.

Williams is enjoying a superb season for Bilbao, which has attracted a host of clubs with Arsenal also linked to the player, and signed a new contract in December last year.

But the new deal, which saw his release clause remain the same, is not expected to stop clubs bidding for him this summer.

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