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Manchester City join £15mn striker pursuit

Manchester City target Inaki Williams in action against Real Madrid. Photo:
Manchester City target Inaki Williams in action against Real Madrid. Photo:

Manchester City are showing interest in forward Inaki Williams, who has been on the radar of both Liverpool and Arsenal.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reportedly even instructed his board to complete the deal. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is believed to be hopeful of acquiring the Athletic Bilbao striker, but both clubs now face competition from City to secure his services.

The Daily Mail claim City sent head of recruitment Gary Worthington to Athletic’s Copa del Rey match against Villareal last Wednesday, in which Williams scored the only goal. Worthington was in the stands when Barcelona ran riot 6-0 over Athletic at Camp Nou.

Williams has scored 10 in 22 games this season and is reportedly drawing interest even from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Leicester City. He is contracted with Athletic until the summer of 2017 and is said to have a £15.2 million release clause.

However, reported last week that Williams had agreed new terms with Athletic that would keep him at the club until 2020, with his new release clause rising to around £53m.

The Spanish side’s manager Ernesto Valverde said: “We’re working hard [to extend Williams’ contract]. The club are trying to close the deal, but it’s taking longer than it should.

“I hope it’ll be resolved soon. The club are also working hard for him to stay. His talent and goals would be very difficult to replace.”

Yaya Touré to leave Manchester City?

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s long-term midfield maestro Yaya Touré is is open to leaving the club at the end of the season, according to his agent Dimitri Seluk.

The Ivorian will come to the end of his contract next summer and, with reports linking the 32-year-old to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG, Seluk has admitted he could be tempted to leave the Premier League.

“He will not move in January,” Seluk told SportItalia. “However, in the summer things can change. We are ready to listen to any offers that are on the table.”

Touré’s City and Ivory Coast team-mate Wilfried Bony has denied rumours he wants to leave the club. Bony has been linked with a return to his former club Swansea after he questioned Manuel Pellegrini’s decision not to start him against Arsenal in December.

“I’m happy at the club, all this speculation is not true,” he told BBC World Football.

“I have a contract so I’m happy and I think I’m at one of the top clubs in the United Kingdom.

“I have no regrets about joining Man City. We play in the Champions League and we’re one of the top clubs in the world. I’m happy here and I can just say I’m blessed.”

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