Report: Arsenal step up Ashley Williams pursuit

Report: Arsenal step up Williams pursuit
© PA Photos
Arsenal will reportedly again try to sign Ashley Williams after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out of their pre-season tour with a back injury.

Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their interest in Swansea City defender Ashley Williams following the news that Thomas Vermaelen could miss the start of the season.

The Wales captain has been linked with a move to the Gunners all summer, but a deal has looked in doubt as the North Londoners seem unwilling to meet the Swans' £10m valuation of the player.

However, Arsene Wenger could bite the bullet and be prepared to pay the extra money following news that Vermaelen may miss the opening of the new campaign.

The Belgian has been struggling with a persistent back problem, and the centre-back has not travelled on the club's pre-season tour of Asia.

It is unclear as to how long Arsenal may be without Vermaelen, with rumours that he could miss as much as three months of action, according to the Daily Mail.

The injury to the 27-year-old leaves Wenger with just Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as the side's recognised centre-backs, which could force the club to move for Williams.

Thomas Vermaelen
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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