Real Madrid remains top choice for Spanish star over Barcelona

Up-and-coming Athletic Club winger Nico Williams reportedly prefers a move to Real Madrid despite interest from Barcelona.

The Spain international has been heavily linked with a move to the two La Liga giants in recent weeks with his contract set to expire in June 2024. As of now, he hasn’t renewed his deal and could leave Athletic Club on a free transfer next year.

According to Diario AS (h/t Football-Espana), the 21-year-old winger prefers a move to Real Madrid, who are also interested in acquiring his services. They are apparently set to make a move for him in the coming weeks, should the chance arise.

Williams has been with Los Leones since 2013 and has gradually risen from the ranks to become an irreplaceable first-team player. The speedy left-winger registered nine goals and six assists in 43 games across competitions last season and has a goal and five assists in 10 games this term.

It remains to be seen if the 10-cap Spain international renews his contract at Athletic Club, which could especially come as a big blow for Barca. The Catalan giants have been known to explore the free agents market to sign players amid their well-documented financial problems in recent seasons.

Neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona lead the LaLiga table heading into the November international break.

Girona have been the surprise package of the season so far, topping the table after 13 gameweeks with 34 points and just one loss to their name. Real Madrid aren’t too far away, trailing them in second position with 32 points. Barcelona, meanwhile, are two points further behind Los Merengues in third. They led the table at one point but slipped down the table after dropping points against Granada (2-2) and Real Madrid (1-2 loss) in October.

Barca will return to action after the international break with an away league game against 10th-placed Rayo Vallecano on 25 November. Real Madrid will play in LaLiga the following day, taking on Cadiz at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla. Los Blancos have notably dropped four points in their last four league games.