Arsenal now favourites to beat Liverpool to the signing of Ashley Williams.
The Daily Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger has spoken personally to Swansea City captain Ashley Williams, with the defender now favouring a summer switch to Arsenal.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was keen to be reunited with Williams after the pair worked together at Swansea, but the Welsh centre-back was apparently charmed by Wenger after the two spoke at the end of Arsenal’s 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium last month.
The Swans captain will cost around £9million and is seen by Wenger as the ideal replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, who has been dropped to the bench after a poor run of form this season. Barcelona have been linked with the Belgian, who had been regarded as a top player before appearing to crumble under the pressure of being made captain by Wenger this season.
Liverpool also hope to re-shape their defence this season, with Martin Skrtel being linked with a move away from the club and club legend Jamie Carragher set to retire from the game.
Williams has been one of the more impressive defenders in the league this season, helping Swansea to the top half of the table as well as a famous win in the Capital One Cup.
Despite Williams being a top target, Arsenal have also been linked with Manchester City’s Micah Richards and Valencia’s Adil Rami.