Tell-tale sign deal is close as reported Everton target omitted from squad on Saturday

By Alex Stevens

Ashley Williams has been left out of the Swansea squad for their pre-season friendly against Ligue 1 side on Saturday afternoon amid interest from Everton.

The Mirror claim Williams trained on Saturday morning but will play no part at the Liberty Stadium as Franceso Guidolin’s side step up their preparations for the new season.

New signing Fernando Llorente, who arrived at the club on Friday, makes his debut for the Premier League side but there was no place in the team or on the bench for skipper Williams.

William’s omission will be interpreted as a tell-tale sign that he is closing in on move to Everton.

The Toffees had a £10million bid rejected for the Wales captain, but Sky reported on their website on Thursday that manager Ronald Koeman is set to make a second bid of around £15million.

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol claimed his personal Twitter account that the Merseysiders had been given a glimmer of hope in their pursuit of the defender.

Swansea had insisted earlier that the 31-year-old is going nowhere, with two years still remaining on his Liberty Stadium deal, but it looks like they could be ready to negotiate.

The Toffees are keen to sign another defender as they prepare for the likely departure of John Stones to Manchester City.

Williams 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.

Williams is heading into his tenth season as a Swansea player, after signing for the Swans in the 2007-08 season.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are standing firm on their £50million John Stones price tag and have told Manchester City to take it or leave it.