Arsenal’s interest in Ashley Williams looks all but over with the club refusing to meet Swansea City’s asking price. The Welsh club have stuck a £10 million label on the defender’s head and Wenger thus far has refused to match it.
Williams is Wenger’s first choice defensive reinforcement but only values him at £7 million. The Swans defender was one of the stand out defenders of last season helping the club lift the Capital One Cup as well as finishing in a record highest 9th place. His performances also attracted Liverpool but Arsenal steamed ahead of them in with the offer of Champions League football.
The defender himself is open to a move to the Emirates but would be equally as happy to remain at the Liberty and has assured the club he will not force a move, giving the club full control of his future. Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins does not want to lose his captain but has stated he will open talks if their £10 million asking price is met.
Jenkins has had a tough few weeks with the future of manager Michael Laudrup uncertain, however the Dane has committed his future to the club with Jonathan De Guzman closing in on another year loan. Other star players Michel Vorm and Michu look set to stay and Jenkins would like Williams to remain at the club as they prepare to improve yet again in their debut season in Europe.
Rumours of a switch will continue to surface and Swansea’s latest arrival will fuel the speculation with Jordi Amat arriving from Espanyol. The young Spaniard is a centre-back and has joined on a four-year deal. The club already have Kyle Bartley, Chico Flores, Garry Monk, Darnel Situ as well as Williams and Amat’s acquisition could be a replacement for the outgoing Wales captain, despite rumours of a no-deal.
Swansea have no reason to sell. They have plenty of finances from their successful season and Capital One Cup triumph, while their Europa League qualification will also generate the club extra money. The club is also an attractive place to play with the club one of the most enjoyable to watch in the Premier League. Jose Canas was the first of Swansea’s summer signings and the club beat some of Europe’s best teams to get his signature.
Arsenal’s current defensive options are Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen. Seb Squillaci’s contract expires on 1 July while a move for Johan Djourou to the Bundesliga is underway. Vermaelen’s performances last season were a cause for concern but Swansea’s insistence on the asking price could see his Arsenal career given a last chance. The Belgian was faultless in his first two seasons as the club but his appointment as club captain affected his displays on the field last season and was eventually pushed out by Koscielny sparking interest from Barcelona.
Arsene Wenger has also been looking at Tin Jedvaj, Martin Skrtel and Kyriakos Papadopoulos.