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Swansea's Ashley Williams targeted by Everton - source

Time and again on Monday against Palace, Ashley Williams was there to make a critical play in defence for Swansea.
Ashley Williams has made 34 Premier League appearances this season.

Everton are planning a move for Swansea City defender Ashley Williams to solve their defensive problems, a source close to the player has told ESPN FC.

Everton have the sixth worst defensive record in the Premier League this season and the two first-half goals they conceded in Wednesday's 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool were the 12th and 13th headed goals they have let in this season -- more than any other club in the Premier League.

Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, who is under pressure at Goodison Park, is keen to resolve the recurring defensive issues that are troubling his side next season, and has identified Williams as his top target.

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Martinez is a huge fan of Williams, 31, having signed the defender while he was in charge of Swansea in 2008, and he sees the Wales international as having the leadership qualities to be at the heart of his defence.

Everton are bracing themselves for further interest in John Stones this summer with Manchester City and Chelsea keen on landing the England international, meaning the club could be short on options in the centre of defence.

Williams has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League since Swansea's promotion in 2011 and he was instrumental in captaining Wales to qualification for Euro 2016.

Everton could face competition for Williams with a number of their Premier League rivals keeping tabs on the defender's situation.

The centre-back has two years to run on his contract at Swansea and the Welsh club are keen to keep their talisman this summer as they look to improve on a disappointing season.


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