By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

7th Nov, 2023 | 7:10am

Aston Villa to reignite pursuit of Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams in January

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Aston Villa could be set to reignite their interest in signing Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams, according to Dan Bardell.

The Spanish international was heavily linked with a move to Villa over the summer, but they couldn’t agree a deal with the La Liga side to secure his services and eventually signed Moussa Diaby instead.

Unai Emery could be eyeing another move for the 21-year-old in January after 90min reported on 24 October that the Villans remain keen on the winger, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Bardell believes there may be room for a player like Williams if the club are still competing at the top end of the Premier League once the transfer window comes around.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I was always under the impression that Villa were one short in the summer, but with everyone fit, I think Villa’s squad is just about the right size.

“They seem to be playing it quite well at the moment, but they’ve obviously got a few injuries at the moment, with Buendia missing a lot of the season, Mings is missing the whole season but he’s been covered off by Lenglet. Apparently, Zaniolo was coming in anyway, he wasn’t a replacement for Buendia and then Coutinho went as well.

“They may be one short in the attacking position. I said previously I’d like to see an upgrade on Bertrand Traore, maybe a striker that can play wide would be the one kind of player that Villa are missing.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if a forward player of some sort came in because, at the end of the window, Archer, Aaron Ramsey and Coutinho went, so you could probably say there’s a space for a forward player if Traore was to depart or not be involved as well.

“They were really looking at Nico Williams. He was the number one choice in the summer, but they couldn’t get that deal done. He kind of fits the mould of that kind of player and they ended up getting Diaby in instead of him, which has worked out brilliantly because he’s been absolutely fantastic.

“Maybe I could just see there being room for that kind of player if Villa are still riding high in the Premier League, someone like him.” 

In other Aston Villa news, a journalist has detailed what he has heard about Emery’s contract situation.