sport

Monk eager to keep Williams

Swansea manager Garry Monk is keen to keep Wales captain Ashley Williams at the Liberty Stadium for as long as possible.

The 29-year-old defender has just over a year left on his existing Swansea contract and Italian heavyweights Napoli - the Swans' Europa League conquerors this season - are among those reported to be tracking him.

Although he has not discussed a new deal with Williams, Monk believes the player is happy at Swansea.

"What he does for the club, I would have him here for as long as possible," Monk said.

"He has been linked with clubs for a few years - it is what happens with good players. He's an important player that, as a club, we should keep as long as possible.

"He is a good guy who cares for the club and wants the best for us. I know he is happy here and I don't see a problem.

"I haven't had a conversation about his future. I speak to him frequently, but it's about the football, things we can improve and the defensive side of things, giving him things that he can take on to the pitch to influence the rest of the guys."

Meanwhile, Monk has rejected claims that Chelsea may be jaded when they travel to Swansea on Sunday.

A victory for the Swans would almost guarantee their top-flight status, but Chelsea arrive in Wales in the hunt for the title and on the back of a thrilling Champions League win over Paris St Germain on Tuesday.

"I don't buy we could catch them cold after midweek," Monk said. "The players they have through the squad are top-class players. I am sure they will make changes, but whoever comes in is top class.

"They are not pushing for the title for no reason. They have experience and class all over the pitch. It's an extremely tough game, but a challenge we are looking forward to and have to relish."