Inaki Williams to Liverpool keeps popping up in the Spanish media.
At the beginning of February, Marca reported on Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool interest in the Athletic Club Bilbao attacker. Jurgen Klopp ‘has reports on his table’ about the player, according to the newspaper, and Liverpool are following his progress closely.
Another Spanish newspaper, AS, touches on the subject in their Tuesday edition. It’s explained that Liverpool ‘yearn’ to sign Inaki, but that, as always, Athletic would put every barrier possible in the way.
Only recruiting players from Basque area, or with very strong roots, Athletic are very limited in their recruitment possibilities, and so have to try everything to keep players.
One of their barriers has long been trying to force the player to pay his clause personally. That would mean in Inaki’s case, Liverpool would give the player €50m to do so, but then he’d be subject to income tax, which could add around another 50% to the operation.
AS rightly bring up the case of Javi Martinez moving to Bayern Munich, and how the German club worked around this. The tax can be offset so no big chunk is payable, but this needs time to put in place.
When Manchester United originally tried to sign Ander Herrera at the end of a transfer window, they left it too late and ended up looking naive. The next summer the club didn’t make the same mistake and gave themselves plenty of time to get around the Athletic roadblocks.
That’s what Liverpool would need to do should they really want Inaki, this isn’t a deal which could be left until the final days of a transfer window.
Inaki has mainly been playing on the right for Athletic this season and has totalled 4 goals and 5 assists. The €50m fee is high, and there’s every chance Liverpool deem it to be too high, there’d be no chance of a discount.