Chelsea have dealt Arsenal a major blow to their hopes of signing Nico Williams this summer. The 21-year-old winger has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League recently as he continues to impress for Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish top flight.
Williams, who sees his contract at the San Mamés expire in 2027, has featured 20 times for Ernesto Valverde's side in La Liga this season, scoring three goals and providing seven assists. His eye-catching performances have helped Bilbao climb into fifth place as they hope to clinch Champions League qualification.
The Spain international's displays haven't gone under the radar, with several top European clubs – including Chelsea and Arsenal – said to be interested in signing him. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Blues and the Gunners have both sent scouts to watch Williams on numerous occasions.
However, while Mauricio Pochettino and Mikel Arteta may be desperate to get their hands on the youngster, the Bilbao president has already insisted that Williams will stay at the club despite Premier League interest. Speaking to DAZN in October, Jon Uriarte pointed towards the family's loyalty.
Williams has a brother called Iñaki who has over 400 appearances for the Basque club. Uriarte said: "[The rumours are] a recurring theme. In Bilbao, we have peace of mind. We want an attractive project for Nico and other players, as with another youngster Unai Gomez.
«We trust that Nico will find the project attractive, and we think that’s how it’s going to be. His family is loyal to Athletic. [Staying] is the best for his career. As for possible rumours, we have no idea.»
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