Ashley Williams joins Stoke City on loan from Everton

Ashley Williams has joined Stoke City from Everton until the end of the 2018/19 season.

Williams, who turns 34 later in August, joins the Potters with less than a year left on his contract with the Blues and is expected to be released on a free transfer once the deal expires.

The defender had taken part in a number of the Blues’ pre-season friendlies but had failed to impress following a disastrous 2017/18 campaign under three different managers.

He made 24 Premier League appearances last season but had been ousted from the squad towards the end of the campaign.

The 33-year-old has been on the fringes of the Everton squad since being sent off in the defeat away to Burnley in March and had been expected to leave the club this summer.

However, despite a number of links - including to former club Swansea City, the defender carried on taking part in pre-season games.

He could be in line to make his debut on Sunday as the Potters take on Leeds United this weekend in their first Championship game since 2008.

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Quartet told to ‘train away’

According to a report from The Times, Everton manager Marco Silva has told Cuco Martina, Kevin Mirallas, Williams and Nikola Vlasic to ‘train away from his first-team squad’ as the Portuguese boss ramps up his preparations for the start of the season.

Williams has already left through the Goodison Park exit door whilst the other three are expected to follow in one form or another.

Mirallas is expected to join Fiorentina on loan until the end of the season, with an option to make the move permanent for a minimal fee.

Vlasic, who’s inclusion on the list of player has been met with some questions, had been linked with a loan move to Newcastle United a few weeks ago.

Martina, who joined the Blues under former boss Ronald Koeman on a free transfer, could find a move before the close of the international transfer window at the end of August.