By Anthony Onifade

9th Feb, 2023 | 2:49pm

Aston Villa to revive interest in Athletic Bilbao ace Nico Williams after failed £45million January attempt - report

Aston Villa are set to revive their interest in Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams, after their failed £45million attempt to sign him in the January window, according to the Daily Mail.

The 22-year-old has emerged as one of Europe’s most exciting young forwards following his rapid emergence in the Athletic Bilbao first team over the past year, even being rewarded with an unexpected spot in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Unai Emery is desperate to add to his attacking weaponry, having failed to do so during the January window when the Villans were reportedly willing to pay the winger’s £45million release clause [Dominic King, 24 January].

However, the youngster did not want to leave the Basque country but that reportedly hasn’t deterred Emery’s desire to get his man.

The Daily Mail [9 February] reports Aston Villa remain determined to sign Williams, who played a key part in Spain’s World Cup squad in Qatar, as the former Villarreal wants to sign a marquee winger.

It is hoped that the wonderkid, who is still the Lions’ number one priority, will be convinced by a strong end to the season at Villa Park. There is some concern, however, that Bilbao could offer Williams an improved contract, revoking the release clause and upping his price.

Marquee signing

With Emery desperately looking to strengthen his attack this month, attempting to acquire the services of Williams seems incredibly ambitious considering his undoubted potential and huge ceiling.

The Spanish coach is reportedly on the hunt for a tall, athletic wide man at 6ft and with good pace, and Williams simply fits the bill.

The forward would represent a project signing, a player Emery can certainly build his squad around and make him one of the vital cogs in his Villa machine.

The club only have one proper star-studded winger in their ranks in Leon Bailey, and signing another young and exciting product in Williams who can line up on the opposite flank certainly makes him an incredibly attractive proposition.

It is exciting times for the West Midlands club, especially considering their terrific Premier League form since Emery’s appointment, and the club can only boost morale even more by spending big this month.

With Williams’ sizeable potential, attacking quality and suitability to Emery’s style, £45million seems an absolute snip – a real marquee signing.