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Swansea City reject Everton’s bid for captain Ashley Williams

Swansea City reject Everton’s bid for captain Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams is captain of Swansea City as well as Wales, and the Premier League side are determined to keep hold of him, or at least hold out for more money. Photograph: Scott Heavey/PA

Swansea enjoyed a successful day of business as they tied Gylfi Sigurdsson to a new four-year deal and then rejected a bid from Everton for Ashley Williams.

Williams’ eight-year stay with the club looked to be coming to an end, with Everton understood to have prepared a £10m offer for the 31-year-old. The offer for the Swansea captain was rejected, though, with a club spokesman saying: “We are not looking to sell him, and therefore we have turned down the offer currently on the table.”

Williams has become the defensive rock of not just his club but also his country, captaining Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. He has made close to 350 appearances for Swansea since joining from Stockport in 2008 and is regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

It was a second piece of good news for Swans fans in the wake of Sigurdsson signing his deal. The Iceland international, who had two years left on his previous contract at the Liberty Stadium, announced the deal on his Instagram account.

“Delighted to have signed a new 4 year deal with swansofficial. Looking forward to the new season!” Sigurdsson said.

Sigurdsson joined Swansea from Tottenham in 2014 after previously enjoying a successful loan spell in South Wales two years earlier while a Hoffenheim player. The 26-year-old scored 11 goals in 37 appearances last season and was named Swansea’s player of the year in May.

The Swans were keen to agree a new deal after Sigurdsson shone during Iceland’s remarkable run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, his performances reportedly attracting the interest of the Premier League champions, Leicester City, and Everton among others. “Despite interest from a number of clubs over the summer, Sigurdsson has committed to the Swans by penning a new deal until June 2020,” said a statement on the official Swansea website.

Sigurdsson only reported back for club duty on Monday following Iceland’s exploits in France, and he insists that Swansea continue to head in the right direction. “I am very happy. It’s a place I like to live and play football in, so I’m very happy to have a new four-year contract,” Sigurdsson added. “It says a lot about what the club think of me. The main reason is that I’m very happy playing football here. I feel very good and it’s a great team with a great bunch of lads.”

News of Sigurdsson’s new contract will come as a relief to Francesco Guidolin and the fans after what has been a difficult pre-season. The summer departures of Eder, Alberto Paloschi and Bafétimbi Gomis have left Swansea extremely short of forward options. André Ayew, who scored 12 goals last season, has also been the subject of strong interest from West Ham who have reportedly made a £20m bid for the Ghana forward.

This article was first and originally published in theguardian.

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