Arsenal are ready to make a move for Ashley Williams as they look to shore up their defensive line this summer, but have been told they will need to triple their initial evaluation if they are going to land him.
Arsene Wenger has plenty of transfer business to be getting on with this summer and one part of that will be replacing the outgoing players from the defence. The Arsenal manager looks almost certain to lose Bacary Sagna on a Bosman free transfer this summer and club captain Thomas Vermaelen has also been tipped to move on.
According to the Daily Star, the Gunners have been impressed with the Wales international since the Swans moved into the Premier League and were readying a £3million offer for him. However, the report says the Welsh club are not interested in anything less than triple that valuation.
Swansea may find it difficult to keep that stance as Arsenal's interest was piqued by the news that Williams was all set to depart the Liberty Stadium after talks over a new contract broke down. The 29-year-old's current deal expires at the end of next season and it would not be a surprise to see him seek as lucrative a deal as possible at such a crucial time in his career.
Arsenal can offer Champions League football - something Williams has never experienced - if they get through the qualification playoff at the start of next season. Wenger may not be able to offer regular first-team football, however, as the first choice central defensive partnership is well established at Emirates Stadium.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have been very impressive since they were paired together at the end of the 2012-13 season, helping the club keep 17 clean sheets in the Premier League last season. Thomas Vermaelen was the man to make way and the form of the France and Germany internationals were what led to speculation regarding his future.