Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup has conceded that he may have to let one of his star players go.

Ashley Williams was one of the standout performers of Swansea’s 2013/14 campaign. The defender was vital in organising the back four and ultimately led the Welsh outfit to Capital Cup success.

Arsenal have expressed interest in luring the Wales captain to north London and now, it seems, the player is free to start contract talks with the Emirates outfit.

The Gunners were solid at the back during the latter half of the season. Club captain Thomas Vermaelen was benched after the disastrous defeat at White Hart Lane and the subsequent pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker ended up being a stroke of genius on Arsene Wenger’s part as the Frenchman and German developed a rock solid defensive partnership.

Vermaelen’s poor performances led to the Belgian standing on the sidelines for most of Arsenal’s last ten games and, as expected, have seen him linked to a move away from the Emirates. Wenger’s interest in Williams has encouraged rumours that his third captain will be leaving in as many years, with Vermaelen linked to the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona.

Laudrup is fully aware of Arsenal’s interest in his star defender. He told reporters: "There has been a lot of talk and let's see what happens.

"He extended his contract not so long ago, like I did.

"Maybe we have to accept one player will go but not any more. We have to strengthen to consolidate because a lot of the teams below us in the table will spend more money.

"Those sums are above what we pay so we have to do things in different ways.

"There is a lot of work to do this summer. One thing is to find them and another to then go and sign them."


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