Arsenal scouts have been monitoring the progress of Athletic Club winger Nico Williams, though face a tough battle to sign him this summer, according to a report.
Williams, the 21-year-old younger brother of Athletic stalwart Inaki, has announced himself as one of La Liga’s finest wide players in the last couple of seasons.
He was wanted by Aston Villa last summer but they could not agree a deal and Unai Emery’s side ended up signing Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen instead.
Williams went into this season with only a year left to run on his contract, and though he has signed a fresh deal, this one contains a reasonable release clause worth €50m (£43m).
The Mirror report Arsenal have been monitoring Williams’ progress, while Pedro Neto of Wolves is also on their shortlist of targets as Mikel Arteta seeks cover for Bukayo Saka.
Though Williams’ release clause is within reach for several sides, Athletic are adamant he will not be sold and the winger will remain loyal to the club even if given the opportunity to speak to other teams.
Williams has scored five goals and added ten assists in 24 games across all competitions for Athletic this season. He notably scored one and assisted one in Athletic’s recent 4-2 victory at home to Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.
The Mirror’s report adds Arsenal have also been keeping tabs on Brentford striker Ivan Toney and Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, while Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe could all be sold as part of a summer clearout.