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Respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague admits Liverpool have followed Inaki Williams, but doubts they'll pay £42m fee

Published on: 20 April 2017

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has told Sky Sports that Liverpool have followed Athletic Bilbao winger Inaki Williams – with with a €50million (£42million) release clause, he can't see the Reds or any other team paying up.

The Reds saw summer signing Sadio Mane enjoy a superb season following his move from Southampton, notching 13 goals and five assists before having his season ended with a knee injury against Everton earlier this month.

Mane's injury – and his departure to the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in January – exposed Liverpool's lack of depth out wide, and it's imperative that Jurgen Klopp swoops for another wide man this summer.

It's unclear just what Klopp will be able to spend this summer, but finding a winger with pace and goals who can offer competition for Mane, as well as Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, next season.

One player who has been mentioned in connection with a move to Anfield is Athletic Bilbao star Inaki Williams, who has come up through the ranks with the Basque club since arriving from Pamplona in 2012.

A strong, pacey forward who can play up front or out wide, Williams – who also qualifies to play for Ghana – has made one appearance for Spain, and hit 13 goals in all competitions for Athletic Bilbao last term.

Williams has notched seven goals and six assists this season, and Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has suggested that Liverpool have been following ahead of a possible move to sign him.

Balague has though suggested that he doesn't think Liverpool or any other club will pay the €50million (£42million) release clause in Williams' contract, with Athletic – famed for only using Basque players – no doubt reluctant to sell one of their top players for a knockdown price.

“He was followed by Liverpool and has a €50m buyout clause,” said Balague. “I'm not sure any team would be willing to pay that right now because he has not proved that valuation. He is in no rush but he is certainly looking abroad should he move,” he added.

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