Arsenal are apparently on the verge of completing the signing of Swansea City defender Ashley Williams, which could speed up the departure of captain Thomas Vermaelen.

The Swansea centre-back has been very impressive in the last two seasons, and has been a brick at the heart of the defence for the Welsh side. His performances helped guide the club to a Capital One Cup victory at Wembley this season after beating Bradford City 5-0.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been interested in Williams all season and, despite seeing an impressive partnership grow between Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, the Frenchman is still keen on strengthening his defence.

The signing of Williams could end Vermaelen's Arsenal career after the Belgium centre-back has suffered from bad form this season and, despite being the club captain, he spent the majority of the final months on the bench.

Despite being on the bench, Vermaelen has confirmed that he doesn't want to leave the Emirates and is only keen on fighting for his first-team place, but Wenger may feel differently if he does complete the signing of Williams.

Wenger made an enquiry to Swansea about their captain in January, only for the Welsh outfit to reject the approach.

However, it is reported that Wenger is ready to go back to the club and begin formal talks for their centre-back.


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