Everton have agreed a £10m with Swansea to sign captain, Ashley Williams.
The Wales captain has emerged as a leading target for the new Everton manager, Ronald Koeman, and director of football, Steve Walsh, and a deal between all parties is believed to have been agreed in principle.
Koeman, who is yet to sign an outfield player since replacing Roberto Martínez at Goodison Park, is looking to rebuild his central defence with John Stones expected to join Manchester City and Phil Jagielka missing much of pre-season because of a hamstring problem. He is keen to add experience and physical presence to the Everton defence and will want two new centre-halves should City meet Everton’s £50m valuation of Stones.
Williams meets those requirements and, despite enjoying a highly successful career with Swansea, is tempted by the prospect of a fresh start on Merseyside. The 31-year-old, who led Wales to the semi-finals of the European Championship, was a target for Brendan Rodgers during his time as the Liverpool manager and Arsenal have also registered interest in the former Stockport County defender in the past.
Swansea’s openness to the Everton approach represents a surprise so close to the new Premier League season but the deal will yield a healthy profit on a player signed for £300,000 in 2008. Williams has two years remaining on his contract at the Liberty Stadium.