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Athletic Club want 21-year-old Barcelona target to stay put for “a long time”



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Although the transfer market is over, Barcelona have continued to keep eyes on young and talented players across the world, in their bid to further strengthen the squad in the future.

Recent reports have indicated Barcelona are particularly keeping an eye on Nico Williams. In fact, they have reportedly made contact with the agent of the Athletic Club forward.

It appears the Catalans are keen on signing Williams on a free transfer next year, as the forward’s contract at Athletic Club expires at the end of the season.

Ernesto Valverde on Williams’ Barcelona links

In the midst of speculations linking Nico Williams to Barcelona, Athletic Club manager Ernesto Valverde has broken his silence on the matter.

“The noise around Nico happens when there are players who stand out, especially with young people because they are valued much more for the potential they may have in the future,” Valverde said as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“It is something fictitious. There is a lot of talk about one player, then another, then another, and everything calms down as time goes by,” he added.

Ernesto Valverde wants Nico to stay at Athletic. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

Valverde’s comments suggest he is not at all worried about Nico Williams, who has featured in almost 100 competitive matches since making his breakthrough for Athletic Club.

Valverde hopeful of Williams staying at Athletic

Despite trashing the speculations, Valverde still appears to be mindful of Nico Williams’ future and hopes he will remain at the club in the years to come.

“We hope that Nico will be here with us for a long time,” said the former Barcelona coach, who is also hoping to lead the Basque outfit to a top-four finish following a positive start to the season.

Barcelona, though, are unlikely to give up so easily. The Catalans have their own set of reasons to go after the 21-year-old Spaniard, whose pace and dynamism could be effective in Xavi’s attacking setup.

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