Everton have signed Ashley Williams from Swansea City for a fee believed to be around $13 million.
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Following John Stones’ $65 million transfer to Manchester City on Tuesday, the Toffees have replaced him with Swansea and Wales’ captain.
Williams, 31, has been at Swansea for the last eight years and has been pivotal in their journey from the third-tier to becoming an established Premier League club who won the League Cup in 2012 and also reached the Europa League knockout stages in 2013-14. The Swans do have Mike Van der Hoorn and Federico Fernandez at center back but the loss of Williams is a huge one.
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The bruising center back had been linked with moves to both Liverpool and Arsenal in the past but told Everton’s he’s delighted to link up with Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park.
“Everton is a great club with an unbelievable manager – a world legend in football – and I believe the club is going in the right direction. This is something I wanted to be a part of,” Williams said. “I look forward to seeing what the manager’s plans are for me and the team. He’s been one of the greatest centre-halves to ever play the game, so I look forward to learning from him and seeing what he can teach me.”
Koeman will likely not stop his summer spending there as Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie is expected to join for a fee in excess of $35 million, while Sunderland’s center back Lamine Kone is also reported to be closing in on a $25 million move to Goodison.
The future of Romelu Lukaku remains unclear, which will worry Evertonians as Chelsea continue to be linked with the big Belgian striker, but at least Koeman is not reinvesting in his squad ahead of their season opener against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBC Sports).