Liverpool hopeful of landing Swansea captain Williams ahead of Arsenal

Liverpool are said to be hopeful of completing a deal to sign Swansea City captain Ashley Williams – despite Premier League rivals Arsenal making a £9m offer for the Wales skipper in the January transfer window, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The Gunners were keen on taking Williams from the Liberty Stadium and pushed for the move until the end of the window but Swansea held firm. However, Swansea manager Michael Laudrup could let Williams move on at the end of the season after acknowledging that the centre-back wants to play for one of the league’s bigger clubs before the end of his career and, at 29, time is running out to make the move.

Arsenal’s offer is said to remain on the table, with Wenger’s interest in Williams showing no sign of cooling – indeed, the Mirror claims Wenger rates Williams as the best centre-back in the entire Premier League.

But Liverpool are thought to be in the driving seat as Williams grew up a Liverpool supporter, with John Barnes his hero, and the presence of former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield dugout is likely to only entice Williams further. Williams would be one of two centre-backs Rodgers brings to the club over the summer, with experienced Jamie Carragher set to retire.

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