Manchester United are reportedly ready to go head-to-head with Liverpool for the signature of Athletic Bilbao striker Nico Williams.
The 20-year-old has shone for the Basque club alongside his brother Inaki Williams recently, scoring four goals and providing four assists in 15 appearances this season.
Williams has now established himself as a regular starter for Athletic, featuring from the first whistle on 13 occasions in the 2022-23 La Liga season under Ernesto Valverde.
The 2002-born attacker has now registered a total of seven goals and five assists in 57 appearances for Athletic, having initially joined their youth setup from Osasuna in 2013.
Williams’s exploits helped him earn a place in the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup, but he is facing an uncertain future at club level, as his Athletic contract is due to expire in 2024.
Liverpool are reportedly planning to send scouts to keep an eye on Williams during the World Cup, having earmarked him as an ideal deputy to Mohamed Salah, but the Reds are not the only club attentive to his situation.
According to Fichajes – via TEAMTalk – Man United are also monitoring developments surrounding the Spaniard’s future and are set to rival their Premier League counterparts for his services.
Athletic could come under pressure to sell Williams if he does not commit to a new deal at San Mames, and a move in the summer of 2023 is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Man United added to their attack in the summer window with the £85m capture of Antony from Ajax, but the club are expected to wave goodbye to Cristiano Ronaldo in the near future.
The 37-year-old recently gave a hard-hitting interview to Piers Morgan in which he attacked various elements and people associated with the Red Devils, including Erik ten Hag and the Glazer family.
Having heard that Ronaldo has no respect for him, Ten Hag has supposedly told Old Trafford chiefs that the striker should never play for the club again, and the Red Devils are now looking at ways to sack him.
Meanwhile, Liverpool lost Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino from their attacking ranks in the most recent window and responded by bringing in Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho.
The Reds are facing uncertainty over another one of their forwards, though, as Roberto Firmino is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.
However, the 31-year-old has made a stellar start to the new campaign after struggling last term, and Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that talks are underway regarding an extension.
Williams is not expected to earn regular starts for Spain at the World Cup, but the 20-year-old will hope to earn some international minutes against Costa Rica, Japan and Germany in Group E, as Luis Enrique’s side prepare to meet the former in their opening match on Wednesday.