Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Ashley Williams after Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup admitted the club may be forced to sell the defender in the coming transfer window.

Ashley Williams

"There has been a lot of talk and let's see what happens. He extended his contract not so long ago, like I did. Maybe we have to accept one player will go, but not anymore," Laudrup told the Express.

Arsene Wenger is keen on bringing the Welsh international to the Emirates in the summer. Earlier reports suggested the north London club have already entered into advanced negotiations and have now made signing Williams as their priority.

Swansea finished the season ninth in the Premier League table and have qualified for the Europa League after winning the Capital One Cup earlier this year. Laudrup has now urged the club to spend during the summer transfer window to match their mid-table rivals. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid manager admitted the club needed to let one of their star players leave in order to raise funds to bring in new faces.

"We need some players and we have to strengthen our squad to compete and try to consolidate the team. There is a lot of work to do this summer. One thing is to find them and another to then go and sign them," the Swansea manager said.

"We have to strengthen to consolidate in mid-table because a lot of the teams below us will spend more money. Teams like Newcastle and West Ham - who are buying Andy Carroll. Those sums are way above what we are paying so we have to do things in different ways," Laudrup concluded.

Williams is under contract till 2015 and his club teammate Leon Britton has now urged Swansea to retain their skipper, despite reports linking him with a move to north London.

"It is vitally important that we keep someone like Ashley. He has been fantastic since he joined us and he is the captain now. "It is a testament to the player because he has been outstanding, but hopefully we can keep hold of him. We would all love him to stay and we will see what the summer holds but hopefully come the start of August he will still be here," Britton explained.