Arsenal learn £43m release clause for potential Bukayo Saka and Pedro Neto alternative

Athletic Bilbao star Nico WilliamsAthletic Bilbao star Nico Williams
Athletic Bilbao star Nico Williams | Getty Images
Nico Williams has turned heads in La Liga and is linked with a big-money move to Arsenal this summer

Arsenal can land Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams for £43million this summer, according to reports.

Reports have linked the Gunners with a move for the Spanish international. The 21-year-old - whose brother Inaki also plays for Bilbao - has emerged as one of the biggest European talents in recent years.

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Williams has seven assists and three goals in La Liga this season, with the Basque club battling for a Champions League spot. At 21, he also fits the age profile to develop under Mikel Arteta, who has made giving youth a chance a top priority since his appointment.

The Gunners boss also stressed the need for “two players per position” when grilled about the goalkeeping dilemma last summer. Arteta controversially signed David Raya despite Aaron Ramsdale’s heroics for Arsenal the previous season.

“We want two players per position,” he said. “You saw what happened to Jurrien (Timber), it can happen to our goalkeeper, it happened to (Thibaut) Courtois - you have to be prepared.”

With that in mind, the right flank remains the only position bereft of two elite-level players. Bukayo Saka is the undisputed first choice for Arteta, playing more games than any other under his management.

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Beyond that, Reiss Nelson provides cover but there are doubts about his quality at the highest level. Signing Williams would give Arsenal another top option while keeping Saka on his toes.

Italian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano is reporting that the wideman has a £43million release clause in his Bilbao contract. The Gunners are expected to be busy in the summer window as Champions League prize money becomes accountable on the balance sheet.

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