Swansea 'very close' to taking ownership of Liberty Stadium

Swansea City FC is "very close" to agreeing a deal to take over ownership of its Liberty Stadium home, BBC Wales understands.

The Swans' new American owners have been locked in talks with the city's council which built the £27m venue.

The club and the Ospreys have played there since 2005, paying a nominal rent to the management company that runs it.

A 30-year lease could be sealed over the next few weeks allowing the club to explore more commercial opportunities.

That could include stadium naming rights and a possible expansion of the ground, which currently holds 21,000 spectators.

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart previously said Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC) - the body running the stadium, which is a partnership between the council, Swans and Ospreys - was "not fit for purpose anymore" following the success and growth of both clubs.

On the latest talks, he said: "We have had a series of very productive meetings and are getting close to a deal that works for everyone.

"I'm hopeful we can close that deal soon."

A Swansea City spokesman added: "Discussions are ongoing with the council. However there are still a lot of details to finalise.''

The Swans kick off the new Premier League season at Southampton on Saturday.

Source: BBC NEWS

Paul Clement hoping for 'quick resolution' to Gylfi Sigurdsson situation

Swansea head coach Paul Clement hopes a decision about Gylfi Sigurdsson's future will be made by the end of the week.

The Swans have rejected two bids from Everton - with the last believed to be worth £45million - for the Iceland midfielder.

Sigurdsson missed the club's tour to the United States after withdrawing following interest from the Toffees, with the club saying he was "not in the right frame of mind".

The 27-year-old has since rejoined training but will not feature in Swansea's next friendly.

Clement suggests a decision is near, saying: "He will not play against Sampdoria on Saturday. Talks are still going on and hopefully we are going to get some news in the next couple of days."

After an open training session at the Liberty Stadium, Clement told the assembled media: "The deal needs to be the best for all parties involved, we have got a very important season coming up.

"We know what happened last season - if you don't make a good start - and we don't want that to happen again."

Swansea are believed to want £50m for Sigurdsson, but with Everton unwilling to match that valuation there have been reports they will offer England Under-20 World Cup-winning right-back Callum Connolly as a makeweight.

A cash-plus-player deal would be acceptable to Clement.

"Assuming it is the right player coming our way and it is someone we are interested in and fills a need in our squad. Those deals will always have potential," he added.

"I hope it is done today, either way, whether that is selling or not, but we need a quick resolution to the situation."

Source: PA


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Michu announces retirement, aged 31

Former Swansea City forward Michu has retired from the game at the age of 31, confirmed via his official Twitter account.

The former Spanish international has consistently suffered from an ankle problem and was only able to make 12 appearances for Segunda side Real Oviedo last season, prompting a decision to call time on his playing career.

“According to medical reports, the current situation of my right ankle has come to a point where it has forced me to say goodbye as a professional football player today,” Michu said in a statement.

“Even though I am saying farewell to you with so much sorrow, I know that we will always be united.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the magical moments that you have given to me during all this time.

“I feel privileged to have fulfilled a dream that is shared by so many of us since childhood. The dream of becoming a professional player in this sport.

“Because of you, the public have given me an invaluable affection that I will never be able to repay. Indeed, I feel I have done nothing to deserve it all.”

Michu, began his playing career with hometown club Oviedo, before moving to Celta Vigo and then Rayo Vallecano.

Impressive performances for the latter in 2011/2012 saw him gain interest from a number of Premier League sides and move to Welsh side Swansea City developed.

22 goals in his debut season for the Swans saw him score against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. He would gain international recognition too, making his debut for the Spanish national side against Belarus in 2013.

However, his time in England would come to an end as he joined Italian side Napoli on loan in 2014. Four appearances for the Serie A outift due to injuries saw him leave and end his contract with Swansea.

A move back to his hometown club then came about but further problems have now seem his call time on his career.

Source: La Liga News

Viera tempted to reject €30m Everton move

Las Palmas are tempting Everton target Jonathan Viera with a new contract, according to reports in Spanish press.

Premier League side Everton have been on a massive recruitment drive this summer and have profited from the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United by signing the likes of Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klaassen, Jordan Pickford and Cuco Martina.

And, it is now understood that they want to bring in Viera and add to their attacking options which already boasts the previously mentioned Ramirez and Wayne Rooney who returned to the club from Man United last month.

The former Valencia man rejoined his hometown club Las Palmas in 2014 and played an important part in their steady return to La Liga last season.

Newcastle United, Swansea City and a number of La Liga sides have shown interest but none have seemingly been willing to pay his minimum release clause, which was set to €30m by the Gran Canaria club.

Whilst interest continues, a new contract is now being discussed to remain at the La Liga club – with officials talking to club president Miguel Angel Ramirez about the midfielder becoming the highest earner.

Marca also claim that Viera is happy at the club and has not been swayed by the lure of the Premier League yet.

Source: La Liga News

Swansea will only sell Sigurdsson if club's valuation is met

Paul Clement has insisted that Gylfi Sigurdsson will only leave Swansea if the club's sizeable valuation is met.

Press Association Sport reported on Monday that Swansea had put a £50million price tag on Sigurdsson amid strong interest from Everton and Leicester.

Sigurdsson is set to join Swansea's pre-season tour to the United States when the squad departs on Thursday, and head coach Clement says he is planning for the Icelandic playmaker to be at the club when their Premier League season kicks off on August 12.

"He is training hard and straightaway he is at the top of all the statistics physically," Clement told the official Swansea website.

"I am planning for him to be here, but there is clearly some very strong interest in him. We will have to see what happens."

Former Tottenham player Sigurdsson was Swansea's talisman as they escaped relegation from the Premier League last season.

The 27-year-old scored nine league goals and had 13 assists and was named the club's player of the year for the second successive campaign.

Only two other players, Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen, brought more goals and assists to their teams.

"Gylfi has been an excellent player here," Clement said.

"He has three years on his contract and if any business is going to be done, it will be done on the terms we want.

"The club recognised his contribution by giving him an extended contract last season. He was happy to stay on here.

"At the moment he is a Swansea player and we have to carry on looking at it that way."

Source: PA

Source: Football.co.uk

Swans seek £50million for Sigurdsson

Swansea has put a £50million price tag on, Press Association Sport understands.

The move comes as the Icelandic playmaker continues to be heavily linked with Everton and Leicester.

Swansea remains determined to keep hold of Sigurdsson, who was named the club's player of the year for the second successive campaign last season.

The 27-year-old scored nine league goals and had 13 assists in a team which spent the entire season battling against relegation.

It was understood Swansea wanted at least £40million if they were to sell Sigurdsson, but that figure has now been revised with transfer fees spiraling this summer.

Sigurdsson has three years left on his contract having signed a new deal last August.

He has scored 30 goals in 112 games since the Swans signed him from Tottenham for £6.8m in July 2014.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins revealed in February that Sigurdsson was the subject of "substantial offers" during the last transfer window, with interest understood to have come from both home and abroad.

Sigurdsson said at the club's end-of-season awards in May that he was happy at Swansea and would only leave the Liberty Stadium if the club wanted to sell him.

Everton has spent big in the summer transfer window so far with Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Michael Keane, Henry Onyekuru, Nathangelo Markelo and Sandro Ramirez joining their former player Wayne Rooney at Goodison Park.

The Toffees' coffers are also set to be swelled by the sale of striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for an initial £75m.

Leicester have also been strongly linked with Sigurdsson, particularly as Riyad Mahrez's future has been in doubt after the Algeria international expressed his desire to leave the King Power Stadium.

Swansea midfielder Jack Cork, meanwhile, is in talks to join Burnley, a club where he has had two previous loan spells.

Cork, 28, has played 80 league games for Swansea since joining from Southampton in a £3m deal in January 2015.

But he lost his first-team place as Swansea secured their top-flight survival under Paul Clement.

And Cork's game time could become even more limited following the £11m signing of Las Palmas midfielder Roque Mesa.

Source: PA

Source: Football.co.uk

United set to hijack second Chelsea transfer, Arsenal preparing third bid for Monaco starlet

The Daily Mail reports that Everton is set to make an improved offer of £32million for Swansea midfielder GYLFI SIGURDSSON. The Swans have rebuffed numerous offers for the Icelandic playmaker but Sigurdsson's desire for a fresh challenge and an increased bid could tempt the club to part with the midfielder. Sigurdsson's potential arrival at Goodison could pile more pressure on ROSS BARKLEY, who may struggle to fit into Ronald Koeman's line-up.

After seemingly hijacking Chelsea's attempts to sign ROMELU LUKAKU, Manchester United are looking to repeat the trick with a bid for Monaco midfielder TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO, according to the Daily Star. United have agreed on fee of £35m for Bakayoko, who has been a target for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte but now appears set for a move to Old Trafford where Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his engine room.

Arsenal are set to return with a third bid for Monaco winger THOMAS LEMAR, reports the Daily Mirror. The Gunners have seen bids of £30m and £40m rejected by the French side but Arsene Wenger is now prepared make an increased bid of £45m. Lemar is Arsenal's top target to provide them with some width and they hope to link him up with fellow France international Alexandre Lacazette, who recently joined the club from Lyon.

The Daily Mirror reports that Newcastle are looking to make a swoop for Norwich midfielder JACOB MURPHY. Magpies boss Rafael Benitez is closing in on a deal worth around £8m for the England Under-21 international and will have to fight off Premier League rivals Southampton and Crystal Palace, who are also keen.

West Brom are keen on Bournemouth's versatile defender MARC WILSON, writes the Birmingham Mail. Wilson has not travelled with the Cherries for their pre-season training camp in Marbella as talks continue over a £1m move to the Hawthorns. Baggies manager Tony Pulis signed Wilson while he was boss of Stoke and also signed him on loan for West Brom earlier this year.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH

SHEYI OJO: Newcastle and Middlesbrough both want to sign the Liverpool winger on loan next season, reports the Times.

WOJCIECH SZCZESNY: The Poland goalkeeper, who has sent the last two seasons on loan at Roma from Arsenal, has been linked with a permanent switch to Juventus.

Source: PA


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Eidur Gudjohnsen's half-brother signs for Swansea

Swansea has signed 16-year-old Arnor Gudjohnsen, half-brother of former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen.

The teenager arrives from Breidablik in the Iceland Premier League on a three-year deal and will go into the Swans' Under-18 squad for the 2017/18 campaign.

Gudjohnsen, son of former Iceland international Arnor Snr, told the club's official website: "It's great to be here. I am looking forward to the challenge and I am excited to get started.

"I want to progress myself on and off the pitch while I am here and develop myself for first-team football.

"My dad and brother have helped me a lot throughout my career. They have given me good advice over the years."

Source: PA

Source: Football.co.uk

Mesa to Swansea within 24 hours

La Liga News UK understands that Roque Mesa will join Premier League side Swansea City within the next 24 hours.

Mesa was one of La Liga’s most in-form midfielder throughout last season and has been linked with a number of Premier League sides – prompting Swansea City to quickly discuss and agree terms.

Italian side Roma and Sevilla were also showing heated interested in Mesa, but a €13m is thought to have been agreed by all parties for him to move to the Liberty stadium.

Las Palmas sporting director Toni Cruz has now all-but confirmed the move, telling press at a conference announcing Manolo Marquez as boss: “There is already agreement for the transfer of Roque to Swansea City and tomorrow (it) can be made official.”#

It is also reported that Las Palmas will include a sell-on fee clause in the sale of the 28-year-old and receive a bonus payment if he makes a senior Spanish international appearance.

Largely unknown to La Liga, Mesa began his career with Levante as a youth, before making appearances for Huracan, Tenerife B, Atletico Balaeres.

His departure from Las Palmas after 126 league appearances will leave a huge gap in their central midfield.

 

Source: La Liga News

Michael Laudrup parts company with Swansea City

Premier League side Swansea City have today announced that manager Michael Laudrup, has parted company with the side. The Welsh club have announced that Garry Monk will take up the role as head coach alongside current first team coach Alan Curtis for the foreseeable future. Rumours had been circulating the Welsh club after Saturdays 2-0 defeat to struggling West Ham. Just yesterday was it that chairman Huw Jenkins had denied that himself and Laudrup had discussed the future of the Dane.

On Swansea City's official website they quoted:

“It is a decision we have taken reluctantly,’’ Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed.

“But it’s a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters. 

“It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us. 

“I had a meeting with Michael today in a final attempt to support him and establish a way to improve the work of the backroom team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games. 

“However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years. 

“Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.’’ 

Swansea haven't had a season that the fans are used to seeing, as currently they are 12th, which to you may sound good, but are just two points off of the relegation places, and five points off the bottom.

The Swans chairman concluded by saying:

“I hope all our supporters can fully understand how difficult this period has been for us and I would urge everyone connected to the football club to get behind Garry Monk, the staff and players.’’ 

Click here to see Laudrup's last interview as Swansea manager.