Ashley Williams’ eight-year association with Swansea City may be about to end, with rampant speculation linking the 31-year-old with a move to Everton.
The Swans’ skipper is thought to be the subject of £11m bid from the nouveaux riche Merseysiders, who can be backed at 11/1 to finish in the top four in their first season under Ronald Koeman.
As far as Everton are concerned, the deal appears to be a good one, but the timing of Swansea’s decision to dispense with Williams’ services strikes as more than a little strange.
It wasn’t long after Francesco Guidolin’s troops established themselves as part of the Premier League furniture that a host of elite top-tier outfits began casting glances at their captain.
Brendan Rodgers is on record as saying he almost signed him for Liverpool after leaving south Wales in 2012 and Arsenal have been linked with various moves for the centre-back in recent campaigns.
Evidently, none of these alleged admirers were able to cut a deal, but it’s tough to imagine they were offering significantly less than the £11m Everton are thought to be coughing up.
In the time since, Liverpool paid Southampton £20m for Dejan Lovren, while Arsenal considered Calum Chambers worthy of a £16m investment in 2014 and paid over £11m to buy Gabriel in January 2015.
So if Swansea were turning down presumed offers of a similar stature from clubs they can’t compete with, why are they accepting one from a team they finished level on points with last term, especially when Williams’ stock has never been higher?
His playing a crucial role in Wales’ trip to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 must’ve added a few additional millions to his value. After all, Newcastle United are of the opinion that £35m is a fair price for Moussa Sissoko, with a decent showing in the same tournament’s final the apparent motivation for their asking price.
Williams has all the qualities to help Everton patch up their seeping backline, but the extent to which his potential transfer helps himself at this stage of his career or Swansea, to whom he’d prove exceedingly difficult to replace, is minimal.