Tactical Insights

Arsenal ready to trigger £43 million release clause to sign Barcelona target: Reports

Arsenal are reportedly willing to activate Barcelona-linked attacker Nico Williams’ Athletic Club release clause ahead of the next season.

Williams, 21, has established himself as one of the most prominent wide operators in the La Liga this season. He helped Athletic qualify for the UEFA Europa League after finishing fifth in the league standings with 68 points and lift the Copa del Rey trophy.

A right-footed left inside forward blessed with pace and trickery, Williams combined with his older brother, Inaki, to terrorize defences this term. The Barcelona target scored eight goals and provided 17 assists in 37 matches across all competitions, including 33 starts.

Now, according to Football Transfers, Arsenal are prepared to trigger Williams’ £43 million release clause in the upcoming summer transfer window. They are hoping to expedite the process as Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are also ready to do the same in the future.

Arsenal, who missed out on the 2023-24 Premier League title by two points, could decide to rotate Williams with Gabriel Martinelli should they sign the Spaniard. On the other hand, Barcelona would hand the winger more consistent game time if they snap up the Athletic youth product.

Ex-Chelsea star Jason Cundy says Arsenal centre-back is worth £150 million right now

During a recent chat on talkSPORT, former Chelsea stars Jason Cundy and Andy Townsend went back and forth about Arsenal star William Saliba‘s current market value. Cundy initially commented:

“I am going to go £130 million.”

Townsend, who played for Chelsea between 1990 and 1993, replied:

“Do they sell at that price?”

Cundy, who represented the Blues 51 times in his career, continued:

“Maybe. If they did, Arsenal fans listen to this. They couldn’t come on talkSPORT and moan about the price. I think they would moan about him going and they will be complaining, and understandably rightly so. But if someone comes in with £130 million, the problem they have got then… he has been the best centre-back in the country.”

Claiming Saliba should be valued at £150 million, Cundy concluded:

“I am not sure that gets him. I have just changed my mind. I am not sure that gets him. I think you might be coming in… I am going to go £150 million. The thing is, centre-halves of that quality, try and find them. Give me another three [who are] near him, of his age.”

Saliba, 23, helped the Gunners finish second with 89 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League this season. Due to his consistent outings, the north London outfit shipped just 29 goals in 38 games.

Since arriving from Saint-Etienne for £27 million in 2019, Saliba has scored five goals and laid out two assists in 83 games for his club.