SUNDERLAND are waiting to hear if a £4m offer for Swansea City’s unsettled defender Ashley Williams has been accepted.
The Black Cats’ manager Gustavo Poyet and sporting director Lee Congerton have agreed to pursue the Wales captain after learning talks over a new deal at the Liberty Stadium have stalled.
Williams has caught the eye of a number of clubs over the last few years and only last summer it was speculated that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had tested the water with an offer in the region of £10m.
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But the 29-year-old is entering the final 12 months of his existing deal in South Wales and Sunderland hope to agree a deal that will see him move to Wearside.
Williams has proven himself at Premier League level and was rewarded for his performances with a new contract in 2012 after becoming a permanent fixture in the Swans line-up under Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup.
It is understood Garry Monk would still like to keep the ball-playing centre-back to stay at Swansea and only this week he suggested the player was keen to stay, although Sunderland’s early summer move is sure to have got the player thinking.
Queens Park Rangers, who have secured a return to the Premier League next season, have also been credited with an interest and are likely to provide tough competition for Sunderland. Hull and Arsenal are two of the other clubs to have expressed an interest in the past.
Poyet is looking for a new centre-back as he continues to reshape a squad which will look a lot different to the one that successfully won a relegation fight in May.
He has already persuaded free agents Billy Jones and Jordi Gomes to move to the Stadium of Light from West Brom and Wigan respectively and Seb Larsson agreed a new three-year deal to stay this week.
But the transfer business is far from finished and Williams is seen as the sort of centre-back Poyet needs to suit the style of football he wants to see his team playing next season.