Premier League

Chelsea & Aston Villa back away from Nico Williams deal

Mario Hermoso

Chelsea and Aston Villa have both been put off a potential deal for Athletic Club’s Nico Williams due to his wage demands, 90min understands.

Williams has been linked with a summer move to several Premier League clubs following a stellar 2023/24 season, but several of his suitors from England are cooling their interest in him.

The Spain international signed a new contract at Athletic back in December. It featured a release clause worth €50m (£43m), which would represent a relatively modest transfer fee, but personal terms are likely to prove a stumbling block regarding an exit. Williams is already earning around €200,000-per-week and would expect more than this should he make a switch.

Sources have told 90min that both Chelsea and Villa have monitored Williams but are unlikely to firm up their interest largely due to the overall financial package they’d need to commit in order to acquire him. From Chelsea’s perspective, they are currently well stocked in Williams’ position too.

Villa attempted to add Williams last summer but were unable to agree a deal and ended up signing Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen instead.

Williams has registered seven goals and 16 assists in 34 appearances for Athletic so far this season and played a starring role in their Copa del Rey triumph. He is also expected to be part of Spain’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2024.

Mario Hermoso

Atletico’s Hermoso is on Villa’s radar / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Though a move for Williams this year is increasingly unlikely, Villa are more hopeful of signing Mario Hermoso upon the expiry of his Atletico Madrid contract at the end of the season.

The left-footed centre-back is seen as a good fit for their current style and he is keen on playing under Unai Emery. He also knows current Villa defender Pau Torres from the Spain national team.

Newcastle United have also looked at Hermoso, but are prioritising a right-side centre-back, and clubs from the Saudi Pro League are interested too. Reports linking him with Barcelona and Juventus are believed to be wide of the mark, however.

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