Iñaki Williams has given some hope to Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund after suggesting he would consider a move away from Athletic Bilbao at the end of the season. The Spain international insisted that his first choice would be to stay at the Basque side, but says he will speak with the club president if an interesting offer arrives this summer.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Anfield.
In January 2016 The Guardian reported Klopp was closely monitoring the player’s development ahead of luring him to Liverpool, with Tottenham, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid also monitoring the situation.
However, Athletic warded off those suitors only weeks later, committing his long-term future to San Mames with a new deal that expires in 2021, raising his release clause to €50m (£42.5m, $53.4m) from his original €20m.
But the speculations have re-emerged in recent times, amid reports suggesting both Dortmund and Liverpool are keen to make a move to secure his services this summer.
Last month The Mirror reported that Klopp had earmarked the Spaniard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the two main candidates to replace Daniel Sturridge, as the German boss is set to part ways with his injury-troubled striker in the summer.
Marca later added that Dortmund are also willing to pay Williams’ €50m release clause to replace Aubameyang, as the Gabon striker recently suggested that he will leave the Bundesliga side in the summer.
Williams has now welcomed those reports, saying that he is more than happy at Athletic but could consider a move away at some point.
— Sportium (@sportium) February 9, 2017
Asked by Sportium about interest from Liverpool, Dortmund and Juventus in his services, the Spaniard said: “A lot of news about that coming but I’m calm. If they are looking at me it’s because I’m doing things right. I am privileged. If one day I have to leave I will be very honest with Athletic. They have given me everything. I do not want to make a change. Staying at Athletic is my first choice right now.
“It is always good that they speak well about you. Those things do not distract me. I give my best every time I play. Defending the Athletic shirt is an honour. There is a lot of history behind it. We are one of the great clubs in Europe.”
But when questioned whether he would consider leaving Athletic in the summer, he added: “If there are offers, I will be honest with Athletic. It is my home. I have a contract with them. The first thing I would do is talk to the president. He has been very good to me. I’m where I want to be. I like the club, the teammates, the city… I am happy in Bilbao. Same as my family. I feel very recognised by the club and I also value that very much.”