Friday 20 October 2017

Laudrup will have money to spend says Swans chairman as he dismisses talk of feud

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup

Andrew Gwilym

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has moved to allay fears over the future of manager Michael Laudrup by insisting there are "substantial" funds for the Dane to spend and there is no rift between the pair.

According to reports there has been a disagreement between Jenkins and Laudrup and his representative Bayram Tutumlu over the amount Swansea are willing to spend on transfer targets.

Laudrup guided the Swans to Capital One Cup glory last season, as well as a ninth-place Premier League finish, and has been linked with clubs such as Paris St Germain and Real Madrid.

Laudrup had hoped those successes would give him the leeway to spend heavily this summer with Swansea preparing for a Europa League campaign, but the club are keen to stick to the prudent financial approach that has served them so well over the last decade.

Laudrup is understood to have been disappointed at seeing target Iago Aspas apparently opt for a move to Liverpool over Swansea, while the Swans' board would be reluctant to part with the sums of money required to secure the likes of St Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.

There have been suggestions Laudrup could leave over the dispute, although Press Association Sport understands the club expect him to be in charge next season.

Jenkins and Tutumlu are also set to hold further talks on the issue.

Swansea and Jenkins had kept their counsel on the issue, but the chairman used the club's announcement of the signing of midfielder Jose Canas from Real Betis on a free transfer - a deal which will be ratified on July 1 - to insist there is more than enough money for Laudrup to strengthen ahead of next season.

He said: "Myself, the manager and our recruitment staff are all agreed on the quality of players we would like to sign to help us remain competitive in the Barclays Premier League.

''We are continuing to work behind the scenes, in private wherever and whenever we can, to strengthen our squad.

''For that reason it's disappointing that I have to respond to the speculation of unrest at the club after the fantastic season we have had.

''There are substantial funds available to strengthen our squad over the summer while we are also in the privileged position, because of the way we've managed our finances over the years, that we do not need to sell anyone to fund those new recruits.

''It goes without saying that some of our targets will sign for other clubs for different reasons. But that's the same for every club. The important thing, and a factor that has always been vitally important for us, is that we sign players who want to play for Swansea City for footballing reasons. If not, then we move on to the next target.

''I think most people will agree that it is a policy that has served this football club, and more importantly our fans, well over the last decade."

Jenkins added there was no friction between him and Laudrup, despite the pair having not sat down together since the end of the season and suggestions the Dane has instructed the club to deal with his agent on the issue.

''It is true that I have not sat down with our manager since the last game of the season against Fulham, but that's because we have both been away on holidays at different times. It doesn't mean we haven't spoken because I've had numerous conversations with Michael over the phone and there's been no difference of opinion on our original transfer targets.

''We have built up a strong reputation over the last few years at Swansea and I believe we have gone about our business in the right way. We have to remain strong for the sake of our supporters and make sure this proud reputation is protected at all costs.

''A lot of hard work has been done to try and maintain and improve on the incredible journey we have had over the last 10 years. That work will continue.''

Tutumlu had previously stated Laudrup would remain with Swansea, despite having offers from other clubs.

However, he added the caveat that that would be the case if the Swansea board made good on assurances he claims they gave to Laudrup when he signed a contract extension in March.

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