Sport Soccer

Monday 27 January 2020

Monk happy to go under radar

Garry Monk's Swansea begin their Premier League campaign against Manchester United on Saturday
Garry Monk's Swansea begin their Premier League campaign against Manchester United on Saturday

Swansea manager Garry Monk is delighted the spotlight will be on new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Van Gaal takes charge of United in the Barclays Premier League for the first time in the lunchtime kick-off but Monk is well prepared for the occasion.

"We're ready," Monk said at his pre-match press conference.

"All eyes on Man United and the situation that has been going on through the summer and the start of the season.

"Obviously all the focus is on them which suits us fine and we can go on with our job and do the best we can.

"It's part and parcel of football. The big clubs attract the most attention, the best players in the world play for these big clubs and the best quality manager will go to these clubs as well.

"He (Van Gaal) has had a very positive pre-season and although he's only been there a short space of time you can see his influence coming through.

"But when you go to Manchester United with the strength and quality in depth they have, it's always going to be a tough test for a club like ourselves.

"But we go up there with full confidence. We have had a good pre-season behind us and we've got to make sure we put in a good performance.

"Everyone is beatable, the most consistent teams in the world are beatable on any given day.

"If you're on top of the opponents and they're slightly off it, then you always have a chance.

"We've proven that time and time again since we've been in the Premiership, so we don't consider it as a fear."

Monk is still aiming to strengthen his squad after a busy summer of comings and goings at the Liberty Stadium.

Wales defender Ben Davies and Holland goalkeeper Michel Vorm left for Tottenham, Michu went out on loan to Napoli and the club confirmed the departures of Spanish pair Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez on Thursday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bafetimbi Gomis, Jefferson Montero, Lukasz Fabianski, Marvin Emnes and Stephen Kingsley have all joined but Monk still hopes to add two or three new faces before the transfer deadline closes on September 1.

The first of these should be Napoli defender Federico Fernandez, the two clubs having agreed a fee in excess of £7million although the Argentinian still has to sort out personal terms.

"We've had good chats with Federico, there are a few details to be ironed out but then he will be over to have the medical," said Monk.

"We will be getting a very good player who has played at the top level with Napoli and Argentina in the World Cup.

"He will definitely add quality to the squad.

"Two or three more bodies will be nice but you want someone to come in and challenge for places."

Monk admitted he wanted to keep the Spanish trio who have left the club this summer.

"Michu, Chico and Pablo were all in the same situation," said Monk.

"I got on well with all of them and wanted them to stay, but we came to a mutual agreement that they wanted to move on to other things and have new challenges.

"Pablo's contract was up at the end of the season, he wanted a three or four-year deal and we couldn't do that.

"He had an offer from abroad and in that situation you're better off letting them go rather than keeping a player who doesn't want to be here and thinking of other things.

"Once a player's mind is set and the feedback is he wants to go, then you've got to let him go, but it has to be on the club's terms."

Monk insisted Swansea had received no offers for Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony, who scored 25 goals last season and has been linked with both Liverpool and Tottenham since playing at this summer's World Cup.

"I've said all along how important he is to us and hopefully we'll see a better Wilfried Bony this summer," Monk said.

"He's very committed and looking forward to the new season and we've had zero interest in him."

PA Media

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