In a week that has seen Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea linked with anyone that the tabloids’ most imaginative can conjure up, the only definitely accurate piece of transfer news involved England’s U-21 squad making it safely from the aeroplane to their team hotel in Israel.
If they had flown via South Wales however, they might have been caught up in the crossfire at Swansea between Huw Jenkins and Michael Laudrup. Sky
Wales Online suggests the club are quietly pursuing talented 21-year-old midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis for a nominal fee. Club colleague and compatriot Jose Canas had already agreed terms before the end of the season, and he should be the perfect foil for Jonathan de Guzman.
It was only going to be a matter of time before Michu was linked to a top club, and with Arsenal flirting with strikers, the Emirates Stadium has been muted a possible destination. The story broke in the Daily Mail earlier this week, and spread like wildfire as the other organisations picked it up. This remains speculation for now, with both parties yet to comment.
Laudrup’s intention was to drop the player back into his favoured free role for next season, and add more firepower up front. ESPN have confirmed that his primary target Iago Aspas will complete his move, in theory at least, from Celta Vigo to Liverpool before the end of the week, in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £8m.
Hesitation to act on players such as this is understood to have frustrated the manager, and has led to a stern exchange of words between him and chairman Jenkins. Conspiracy theorists may have us believe that the Dane is trying to engineer his way into another club, with Real Madrid’s top job currently vacant.
Ambitious to say the least, though so is Laudrup’s rumoured transfer list. All the usual sources have linked the Swans to a clutch of players that includes Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel, St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sevilla attacker Manu Del Moral and Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku. All sources of course, unnamed or undisclosed.
Wigan’s Arouna Kone is the only name that has been mentioned which would meet the club’s budget with the striker wanting to follow his ex-manager Roberto Martinez out of the door, and the club looking for around £4m. If Swansea leverages the player’s desire to leave, they could actually clinch a deal for less.
One player definitely departing the Liberty Stadium is midfielder Mark Gower. After spending the end of last season on loan at Charlton Athletic, the 34-year old is set to make his switch permanent this summer after being released by Swansea.
With the summer holiday season in full swing and temperatures soaring in the UK, a frosty atmosphere lingers in the Swansea boardroom. The next week will be crucial.
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