Swansea’s Ashley Williams back on Gunners radar

With Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen’s future uncertain, Arsene Wenger is well aware that he may ask to leave in the summer, if he isn’t guaranteed more playing time.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have formed a good partnership at the back, despite a poor run of form lately and Wenger has been reluctant to disrupt that.

Williams will reportedly ask to leave Swansea at the end of the season, with a new challenge the main motivator as to why. His current contract runs out at the end of next season, and approaching the latter stage of his career he fears he won’t get a chance to join a top status club.

It is hard to imagine anyone being able to break up Arsenal’s current defensive partnership, however the Welshman is credited with attributes of some quality.

Mertesacker has never been the fastest of players, and despite possessing dominant aerial ability and an understanding of the game, Williams does have pace. There is no doubt that either of them are also born leaders.

Swansea, who are 7/1 for a top 10 finish, know realistically that unless they can offer European football again next term that they may lose some of their top stars.

The Swans skipper twice held talks with Gunners officials last summer, before Wenger stalled on making a concrete bid. It is thought any fee would be in the region of £8m.

Former boss Brendan Rodgers has also been linked with taking the player to Liverpool. The Reds who are 3/1 to win the Premier League title, could be an enticing choice for Williams. Despite being lethal in front of goal, they have struggled with consistency at the back, and Rodgers may feel his former player is a reliable option.

If Arsenal don’t act soon, they may miss out on another signing to a key rival.