Ashley Williams staying with Swansea despite rival interest

Ashley Williams
Williams joined Swansea from Stockport County in 2008 for £400,000

Swansea City captain Ashley Williams insists he is staying with the club despite fresh interest from rival Premier League clubs.

The centre-back, 30, has been courted by a number of clubs over the past few seasons and is reported to be a current target for Everton and Crystal Palace.

Manager Garry Monk has already dismissed the speculation and Williams says he is committed to the club.

"I'll be staying. The gaffer [Monk] has already said that," he said.

"I'm used to dealing with the speculation and bids. It's part of the job and I just take it as a compliment and shows that you're doing your job properly.

"I'm committed to Swansea and just concentrating on Swansea this pre-season."

Reunited with Martinez?

Williams signed a three-year contract extension in July 2014, and it is thought that Swansea would insist on up to £15m to even consider selling.

Everton are rumoured to be lining up Williams as a replacement for John Stones, if Chelsea persevere with their attempts to prise the 21-year-old from Goodison Park.

A move to the Toffees would reunite Williams with Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who brought the centre-back to Swansea from Stockport County in 2008 during his time in charge at the Liberty Stadium.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is thought to be another long-time fan of Williams, who has won 51 Wales caps.

Ashley Williams with Roberto Martinez in 2008 at Swansea
Roberto Martinez (right) is a known admirer of Ashley Williams

Swansea have not received any formal bids for him this summer and Williams says the speculation has no impact as he prepares to lead the Swans in their fifth season in the Premier League.

"It's no drama for me," Williams told BBC Wales Sport at Wednesday's Premier League launch in London.

"I'm used to answering these questions for a few years. It's no big thing for me, it's normal, it's part of the job. I let other people deal with that.

"There will come a time when Swansea will say 'we've had enough'. But I just get on with the job and lead this group of players to something we've never been to before, which we did last season.

"It's something I'm really proud of with Wales and Swansea. If we can do something like that again, I'll be extremely proud of the guys."

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