By Alex Taylor
Everton have signed defender Ashley Williams from Swansea, it was announced on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old centre-back has signed a three-year-deal at Goodison Park after spending eight years at the Welsh club.
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solkehol claimed on Wednesday morning that the Toffees will pay just £9million for the Welsh international, but the official fee is undisclosed.
Ronald Koeman’s side announced the deal via their official Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.
Williams was pictured arriving with his agent at Everton on Tuesday afternoon to put the finishing touches to the deal after making his farewells at training at Swansea on Tuesday morning.
“Everton is a great club with an unbelievable manager,” Williams told the Everton website. “He is 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.”
“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.”
Williams is Koeman’s third senior summer arrival after the captures of Idrissa Gueye and Martin Stekelenburg.
The defender is now widely regarded as one of the most reliable defenders in the Premier League, starting all but two of Swansea’s 38 league matches last season.
He had been heading into his tenth season as a Swansea player, after signing for the Welsh outfit in the 2007-08 season.
Williams will be a direct replacement for John Stones, who completed a £47.5million transfer to Manchester City on Tuesday morning that demolished Everton’s transfer record.
Swansea are attempting to soften this blow on fans by securing the signature of Borja Baston from Atletico Madrid, who is understood to have agreed a £15m move to the Liberty stadium and will be flying in for a medical on Tuesday night, according to the Sky Sports website.
In other Everton transfer news, this young defender may follow Stones out of the exit door amid strong Newcastle interest.