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Williams wants Swansea stay; Johnstone joins Walsall on loan

Swansea City centre-back Ashley Williams wants to stay at the Liberty Stadium in the summer.

Swansea City centre-back Ashley Williams has expressed his desire to stay at the Liberty Stadium in the summer amid speculation linking him with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, according to the player’s agent Jamie Moralee.

The Wales international has earned rave reviews this season, and rightfully so.

Williams, 28, has featured in 33 competitive matches for the Swans in 2012-13, including the Welsh club’s 5-0 rout in the Capital One Cup final against Bradford City at Wembley last month.

“What I can say is that my player has got no desire to leave Swansea City Football Club,” Moralee told the South Wales Evening Post.

“There have been stories linking Ash but his situation now is no different from his situation over the past few years.

“Ash has always remained a Swansea City player. He is happy there, his family are there with him and he is playing better than ever because Swansea have given him a platform.”

Recent reports have speculated that the 28-year-old defender may be the subject of an £8 million summer move to Arsenal, with manager Arsene Wenger looking to bolster his defence for next season.

Williams is also attracting interest from Merseyside, with Liverpool — bossed by former Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers — reportedly keen on the Welshman.

“If one of the big four, five or six decide to target Ash and put the money down, then there will be a conversation,” added Moralee.

“But it’s quite early to even be suggesting this kind of talk because there are still quite a few games to be played before the end of the season.”

Williams is currently on international duty with Wales, who are scheduled to face Scotland in a cracking 2014 World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park on Friday.

Johnstone joins Walsall on loan

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has joined League One side Walsall on loan until the end of the season, Sky Sports understands.

Johnstone, 19, will replace 21-year-old Irish shot-stopper Aaron McCarey, who has been recalled by parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

McCarey started 14 league matches for the Saddlers this season, conceding 19 goals.

The 19-year-old, who has previously spent time on loan at Oldham Athletic and Scunthorpe United, is expected to make his club debut against Hartlepool on Saturday.

Johnstone is temporarily surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, following the Red Devils recall of Ben Amos, but the England Under-19 international is highly-rated by the English Premier League leaders after impressing for the Reserves this season.

“It was unfortunate that Aaron was recalled, but he will be replaced by a very able lad in Sam Johnstone,” Walsall manager Dean Smith told the club’s official website.

“I know that Manchester United have high aspirations for him and he has already had a couple of previous loan spells at this level, so he knows what it’s all about.

“I know a lot about the lad and watched him in action recently. I’ve had some very positive reports on him and am delighted to be able to bring him on board until the end of the season.”

Wed 20 March, 2013
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