Ashley Williams is prepared to tell Swansea City that he wants to leave the club this summer, and Arsenal are reportedly his preferred destination. The 28-year-old defender has been at Swansea for five years, becoming captain of both his club and Wales in that period, but wants a new challenge in the remainder of his career.
Everton have also been linked with the £10million rated defender, with Roberto Martinez originally signing him for Swansea, whilst Brendan Rogers might try and bring Williams to Liverpool having also worked with him at the Liberty.
Arsenal are apparently unwilling to meet Williams’ £10million price-tag, but might hope Swansea would negotiate if the defender made it clear he wants to leave.
However Williams is not their only centre-back target, with Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos also being considered. The 21-year-old is likely to be even more expensive than Williams, with Schalke demanding that any interested sides would have to pay his £19million release clause to sign him.
There are reports that the German side would accept a figure closer to £13million for the highly-rated defender, but that would still be a risky outlay on a player who missed much of last season through injury. Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked with the Greek defender.
Lyon have made it clear they have no intention of letting midfielder Maxime Gonalons leave this summer. The French club released a statement on their website in response to speculation linking the 24-year-old with a move to Napoli, saying that they would not be selling their captain this summer.
Gonalons is also reportedly a target for Arsenal, with the Gunners perhaps targeting the Lyon midfielder as a replacement for the injury prone Abou Diaby,
Arsenal will apparently step up efforts to keep Arsene Wenger at the club beyond the end of his current contract, with PSG keen to sign the manager next summer. Wenger’s current deal expires in 15 months, and PSG have appointed new manager Laurent Blanc on a one year rolling contract in the hope they will be able to tempt the Arsenal manager back to France at the end of next season.
Arsenal are hoping that Wenger will stay for at least another three years, and a busy summer in the transfer market might be used to convince him of the club’s ambition.
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