Arsenal send scouts to watch £42m Chelsea transfer target: report

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, applauds the fans after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on February 04, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal have reportedly been scouting Athletic Bilbao and Spain winger Nico Williams, a rumoured transfer target for London rivals Chelsea.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have also been linked with the 21-year-old, who has already made more than 100 appearances for Athletic since debuting aged just 17.

Williams – whose signed a new contract in December until the summer of 2027 – is said to have a release clause of a relatively low €50m (£42.6m).

BILBAO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 02: Nico Williams of Athletic Club looks on during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Athletic Bilbao and RCD Mallorca at Estadio de San Mames on February 02, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Williams is one of the most exciting young attacking players in Europe (Image credit: Getty Images)

And, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal and Chelsea have both been showing a keen interest in the Athletic Bilbao youth product.

"Arsenal have also sent their scouts to follow Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao multiples times," Romano told CaughtOffside, "and it's the same for Chelsea as they included him in the list [of transfer targets] last summer.

"The race is completely open, and nothing is advanced with either club so far. He’d be great in the Premier League in my opinion – a physical and technical player, [a] very good one."

Nico Williams right winger of Spain and Athletic Bilbao during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Spain and Cyprus at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 12, 2023 in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Williams could play a key part for Spain at this summer's Euros (Image credit: Getty Images)

Born in Pamplona, Spain to Ghanaian parents, Williams began his senior career with Basconia, a feeder club for Athletic.

He has featured 109 times for the Basque giants in all, scoring five goals in 24 appearances this season – which he kicked off in style by winning La Liga's Player of the Month award for August.

A Spanish international since U18 level, Williams made his full debut for La Roja shortly before the 2022 World Cup – where he featured in all four of the country's games, including a start in the group-stage defeat to Japan.

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