Leon Britton: 'Vital for Swansea City to keep Ashley Williams'
LEON Britton believes it is "vitally important" that Swansea City hold on to their sought-after centre- back Ashley Williams.
Williams has been touted as a transfer target for Arsenal and Liverpool in recent months, with both reportedly prepared to bid more than £9 million for the 28-year-old.
According to Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, there have been no offers or contact of any sort from clubs about Williams's potential availability, while the player himself has been coy about his future.
And as the Swans prepare for a busy summer of arrivals and departures at the Liberty Stadium, Britton is hopeful that Williams will be among the players who stay.
"It's vitally important that we keep someone like Ash," he said.
"He's been fantastic since he joined us and is the captain.
"He's been absolutely brilliant and it's no surprise that he's been linked to Arsenal and Liverpool. That's just testament to the player he is.
"Hopefully we can keep hold of him. As players we would all love him to stay and the supporters would be the same as well.
"We will see what the summer holds but hopefully by the start of August he is still here."
Having announced record profits of £15.9m for the six months up to the end of November 2012, Swansea are in as strong a financial position as ever.
Their ninth-place finish in the Premier League will also give them more than £9 million in prize money, boosting the club's already growing transfer budget.
And with the Swans playing in the Europa League for the first time next season, Britton reckons it is important they add to their squad this summer.
"I think it's important that we spread the games around the squad with Europe in mind," he said.
"You've seen this season with Newcastle and in the past with Stoke — two teams who have done well in the Europa League and struggled a bit in the League.
"It can take its toll but I'm sure the management and the staff have already put plans in place to bring players in. They'll know the amount of players to bring in.
"Playing on a Thursday night and a Sunday is going to be tough, but I'm sure the management will put plans in place to be ready for that."