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Exclusive: Manchester United scouts identify Nico Williams as prime ‘versatile’ forward target



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Athletic Bilbao star Nico Williams is seen as an ideal option for Manchester United by club scouts for the summer transfer window.

Williams, 21, has excelled for the La Liga club this term, scoring four goals and assisting eight times in just 17 appearances.

He has largely played from the left wing for the Spanish club this term, however, last season he was used on both flanks, playing 27 times on the right and another 12 on the right.

UtdDistrict understands that Williams has been on the club’s radar for an extended period now and is seen as the favoured choice by club scouts as a ‘versatile’ forward signing at Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag is also an admirer of the player.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Williams has a release clause in his new contract at Bilbao, which expires in 2027, and that has been set at around £43 million.

The Spaniard is preferred over recently linked Michael Olise by United scouts, however, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos now beginning to take control of sporting affairs, there could be movement in terms of club targets.

Information from Standard Sports stated that the British billionaire, who has purchased a 25 per cent stake in United, is interested in making Olise one of the first signings of his era at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, despite reports suggesting that United are targeting PSV Eindhoven star Johan Bakayoko, a source tells UtdDistrict that the Belgian is not a concrete target for the Reds currently.

However, there will likely be deliberations about the different targets, such as Olise and Williams, once Ineos have acquired the personnel for their desired structure around them.

David Ornstein has claimed that, within the industry, it is felt that Ratcliffe and his team will likely appoint both a Sporting Director and a Head of Recruitment at the club.

Paul Mitchell, formally of Tottenham Hotspur and AS Monaco, and Dan Ashworth have been touted as the main two targets through several reports. Ashworth is currently contracted at Newcastle United but does have a close relationship with Sir Dave Brailsford, Ratcliffe’s right-hand man.