Liverpool have reportedly been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams.

Express Sport revealed last year that Liverpool were interested in signing the 22-year-old Spaniard.

It is claimed the Reds were ready to activate Williams £43million release clause in a bid to bring him to the club in the summer.

But Basque outlet Deia claim Juventus are now leading the race to sign him after making contact with Bilbao following several successful scouting trips.

However, Williams poured cold water over a move away from Bilbao last month by insisting he is happy at the club.

"Lots of things are coming out in the news but I am calm," Williams told Sportium.

"If clubs are looking at me it's because I'm doing things well. I'm very lucky.

"If tomorrow I had to leave I would always be very honest with Athletic. They've given me everything.

"The first I would do is speak to the president [if I wanted to leave.]"

Williams has scored two goals in 26 La Liga appearances for Bilbao this season and is contracted to the club until the summer of 2021.

Source: Daily Express

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