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Everton replace Stones with Welsh skipper Williams

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Wales football captain Ashley Williams has joined Everton from Premier League rivals Swansea on a three-year contract for a reported fee in the region of £12 million, an extravagant figure for a 31 year old.

The veteran defender is new manager Ronald Koeman's third summer signing, and easily the most important after the Toffees sold young superstar John Stones to Manchester City for £47.5 million earlier in the week.

Williams leaves Swansea after having spent 8 years at the club, featuring on more than 300 occasions for the Welsh side. His transfer is also a massive profit for the Swans who bought a young Williams from Stockport for just £300,000.

Swansea's Chairman Huw Jenkins revealed he was disappointed to see the player go, but accepted that Williams was looking for a new challenge at this stage of his career, and had had a taste of the big time in Wales' run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 earlier this summer.

Williams himself expressed his delight at the move, saying, "For me the new challenge was something I felt I needed, so I'm delighted to have joined Everton."

"Everton is a great club with an unbelievable manager - a world legend in football - and I believe the club is going in the right direction," he added.