At the request of Lamine Yamal, Barcelona is racing against time to conclude the deal of the century in the summer

At the request of Lamine Yamal, Barcelona is racing against time to conclude the deal of the century in the summer

Nico Williams appears to be Barcelona’s top target going into the summer transfer window. The Catalans would need to pay his €58m release clause to ensure his signing, given that Athletic Club will not negotiate with anyone for the 21-year-old, who is currently impressing for Spain at Euro 2024.

Joan Laporta is one of those at Barcelona pushing for Williams to be signed, but he is not fully supported by his board of directors. As reported by Sport, some are not sold, especially given the significant financial outlay that would be needed to close a deal.

The main reason some are against Williams’ signing is bad blood, which stems back to 2023. A section of Barcelona directors do not like the way he handled his future – specifically, by deciding to sign a new contract at Athletic. They believe he should not have signed an extension to his deal, which would have meant he was available as a free agent this summer.

These directors believe that Williams “harmed” Barcelona, as instead of signing him for free, they now have to pay €58m, all upfront. It remains to be seen whether this will affect the club’s pursuit – Athletic Club wouldn’t mind it, as they want to hold on to one of their most valuable and important players.

Report: Barcelona board divided over the signing of €58 million-rated winger | Barca Universal

According to a report by SPORT, Barcelona’s leadership is split on whether to bring in Nico Williams from Athletic Bilbao. 

As of today, it is no secret that the club is keen to bolster its left-wing attack this summer, eyeing Nico as a top contenderalongside Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, who’s been impressing fans in the Euros with his skill on the pitch.

While many in management and are excited about the player’s potential, not everyone in Barcelona’s boardroom shares the same enthusiasm. 

Some board members are concerned about how he handled his contract negotiations. They feel he could have better managed his future, especially since he knew about Barcelona’s interest last year but chose to extend his contract with Athletic until 2027 instead of allowing a potential free transfer this summer.

Nico’s loyalty to Athletic Bilbao is a problem

This decision, while seen as loyalty to his current club, has complicated matters for Barcelona, forcing them into potentially costly negotiations with Athletic Bilbao. 

As reported before, the club is unlikely to make it easy for any club interested in the winger, pointing to his hefty release clause of €58 million set during his contract renewal.

While acknowledging his talent and the boost he could bring to Barcelona’s attack under new coach Hansi Flick, these board members argue that his approach has put unnecessary strain on Barcelona’s finances. 

They believe his decision to stay at Athletic Club has disadvantaged Barcelona, who now face a tougher task in securing his services.

Interestingly, all this means Barcelona will eventually give up on their pursuit as not only is the transfer fee high, but even the player’s wage demands are extravagant.

In summary, Barcelona find themselves at a crossroads regarding Nico Williams, torn between his undeniable talent and the financial challenges posed by his contract situation. 

The debate within the club reflects broader concerns about managing resources effectively amidst competitive pressures in the transfer market.

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