Reported Liverpool target to replace Sturridge addresses £43.6m transfer approach

Iñaki Williams has reiterated his intentions to stay at Athletic Club Bilbao following fresh reports claiming that Juventus have joined Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in the race to secure his services. Yet, the Spain Under-21 international added that he knows nothing about the interest from those clubs and stressed that his family are very “happy” in La Liga.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to Liverpool almost since Jurgen Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.

Williams has been compared by some with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and reports earlier in 2016 claimed that the Liverpool boss was considering bringing him to Anfield to lead his attack as the Gabon striker used to do in his Dortmund side.

The Spaniard instead put pen to paper on a new deal at Athletic until 2021, raising his release clause to €50m (£43.6m, $53m) from his original €20m.

However, those rumours have resurfaced since, with The Mirror reporting that the Liverpool boss has earmarked the Spaniard and Aubameyang as the two top candidates to replace the Daniel Sturridge ahead of the summer transfer window, as the Reds are expected to part ways with the England international.

Dortmund are also said to be interested in the Spaniard while, earlier this week, AS reported that Juventus had joined the race and would even be willing to meet his €50m release clause to win the race.

“My agent deals with that,” Williams told Mundo Deportivo. “I have not learned anything [about any club interested in me] but the day it happens it will be a surprise to me. At the moment nothing has come. The club made a great effort with my renewal. I am where I want to be and I am very happy.

“I am calm, very calm. It looks that I’m going to leave but people put words in my mouth that I have not said. I am very happy where I am and I am where I want to be. My family is very happy. Being at Athletic is what I always fought for and today I have no intention of moving away because I am where I want to be,” Williams added.

Athletic lost Ander Herrera to Manchester United in 2014 and Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich two summer earlier after their release clauses were met. However, last summer Aymeric Laporte turned down an offer to join Manchester City even though the Premier League giants were ready to pay his clause. That could well be the case with Williams if Liverpool, Juventus or other suitors come calling this summer.

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