Saturday 20 January 2018

Everton sign Williams as replacement for Stones

Ashley Williams. Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters
Ashley Williams. Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Jamie Holland

Wales captain Ashley Williams has completed his transfer to Everton from Swansea.

Everton moved swiftly to replace John Stones, who was sold to Manchester City for £47.5m (€55m)on Tuesday, by acquiring Williams, 31, for a fee in the region of £12m, on a three-year deal.

Williams spent eight years with the Swans, who rejected Everton's initial advances for him, but the Welshman's desire to move to Merseyside prevailed.

Ronald Koeman's reshaping of his squad is expected to continue apace now that Stones's departure has given the club a cash windfall.

Contract

Sunderland's centre-back Lamine Kone is another target for the Dutchman, though he trained with the Black Cats yesterday as he awaits a new contract offer.

On Williams, Koeman said: "We wanted to bring in a strong player in the central-defence position, a player who knows the Premier League and Ashley fits the bill for us very well.

Read more: Wenger: Pogba ticks all the boxes

"He is an experienced defender and the kind of player we need in the team. He is a leader. He showed this at Swansea and he has shown it for his country."

Williams was key in Wales's run to the last four at Euro 2016 and had been a mainstay in the Swans's defence since he joined from Stockport in 2008.

Meanwhile, Leicester have announced that manager Claudio Ranieri has agreed a new four-year contract with the club.

Irish Independent

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