Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2024

Chelsea ‘impressed’ by £43m winger who could replace Raheem Sterling | Football | Sport


Chelsea are reportedly considering triggering the release clause of La Liga star Nico Williams when Mauricio Pochettino begins his summer spending spree. The Blues are again expected to be frenzied during the next window, needing to sell a host of players in order to fund moves for new personnel.

The club have been strongly linked with a move for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who despite signing a new deal with the Serie A champions last year, had a release clause of his own inserted at £103million. Given the looming threat of Financial Fair Play though, Athletic Bilbao winger Williams would represent a more economical marquee signing.

Bilbao cannot prevent Williams from leaving if a club activates his £43m clause, a fee not considered extortionate in today’s transfer market. The Spanish international, capable of playing on either flank, already has 118 club appearances to his name at just 21 years old.

He’s previously been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool, but according to the Telegraph, it’s the Blues currently lining up a move. His initial contract in Spain was due to expire at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, prompting lengthy negotiations between the club and the player’s representatives.

Eventually, he agreed a new deal last December worth more than £100,000 a week. That runs until December 2027 and has safeguarded the Spanish club from losing a prize asset on a free transfer.

The development could throw fresh doubt on the future of Raheem Sterling. The forward has come under criticism of late and was hauled off earlier in the second half during Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool at Wembley last month.

Indeed, despite initially impressing after his £47.5m move from Man City in the summer of 2022, the form of Sterling has dipped. And having previously been a mainstay under Gareth Southgate, the 29-year-old has lost his place in the England squad and faces an uphill task to appear in Euro 2024.

He was the subject of interest from the Saudi Pro League last year, but publicly stated his desire to stay at Chelsea. And were Williams to come on board, Pochettino would most likely view him as a long-term replacement for the four-time Premier League winner.

Chelsea reportedly need to make profits of £100m by the end of June in order to comply with profit and sustainability rules, although club figures have denied the claims. Owner Todd Boehley has splashed out more than £1billion in less than two years at the helm, but his spending spree has yielded little success thus far.

The Blues currently lie 11th in the table, 19 points off the top four. Their last hope of silverware is in the FA Cup, where they host Leicester City in the quarter-finals this month.

He was the subject of interest from the Saudi Pro League last year, but publicly stated his desire to stay at Chelsea. And were Williams to come on board, Pochettino would most likely view him as a long-term replacement for the four-time Premier League winner.

Chelsea reportedly need to make profits of £100m by the end of June in order to comply with profit and sustainability rules, although club figures have denied the claims. Owner Todd Boehley has splashed out more than £1billion in less than two years at the helm, but his spending spree has yielded little success thus far.

The Blues currently lie 11th in the table, 19 points off the top four. Their last hope of silverware is in the FA Cup, where they host Leicester City in the quarter-finals this month.



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