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Everton line-up Euro 2016 hero as replacement for £50million Stones - report

By Alex Taylor

Everton are preparing a move for Swansea captain Ashley Williams as they prepare for John Stones’ imminent move to Manchester City, according to a report.

The Mirror claim that the Toffees  are lining up a move for Williams as a replacement for the in-demand 22-year-old and to help bolster a defence that was the sixth worst in the league last season.

The report says that the Welsh defender could cost the Merseyside outfit £10million.

The Daily Mail claim that Everton are not going to let Stones go cheap though, holding out for £50m.

Williams has two years remaining on his current deal in Wales and has developed himself into one of the most integral defenders in the Premier League, starting all but two of Swansea’s 38 league matches last season.

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The centre-back was a key player in his country’s stunning European Championship campaign too, helping Wales reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history.

Stones has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, but still played for the Blues in their pre-season game against Dynamo Dresden on Friday night.

The decision to play Stones came just days after City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed that he is interested in bringing the youngster to the Etihad before the start of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are set to miss out on the signing of Arkadiusz Milik who is set to replace departed Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuaín.