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Swansea 1 Middlesbrough 0: match report

Swansea 1 Middlesbrough 0: Hines' late own goal agony ends Boro resistance

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 12 December 2012

Swansea City are through to the Capital One Cup semi-final after a late Seb Hines own goal cruelly ended Middlesbrough’s long journey to Wembley.

This was Boro’s 12th straight away fixture in the League Cup — an array of trips amounting to roughly 4,000 miles over the years — and they had their chances to win it.

But then, after 81 minutes, fortune conspired against Hines. He had just saved Boro with a last-ditch tackle on Michu, but from the resulting Jonathan De Guzman corner he headed into his own net under pressure from Garry Monk.

Winner: Middlesbrough's Seb Hines (left) scores an own goal to send Swansea through

Winner: Middlesbrough's Seb Hines (left) scores an own goal to send Swansea through

Match facts

Swansea: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico, Monk, Davies, Dyer, Britton, de Guzman, Shechter (Moore 55), Routledge (Ki 65), Michu.

Subs Not Used: Cornell, Bartley, Graham, Rangel, Agustien.

Goal: Hines 81 og.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Bikey (Halliday 64), Hines, Friend, Haroun (Smallwood 65), Leadbitter (Miller 82), Bailey, Ledesma, Jutkiewicz, McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Leadbitter, Bailey.

Att: 15,048

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

The result puts Swansea into their first major semi-final since the 1964 FA Cup, but those are the kind of thoughts Michael Laudrup will be trying his hardest to suppress. The Swansea manager said: ‘I told them at half time, “I know you all want that final, but we are too tense. All of you want to do so well, it is hurting you. Do it like you are used to doing it”.’

That Middlesbrough looked good was no great surprise. They are third in the Championship and fielded close to a full strength side, Tony Mowbray making five changes to the team that beat Peterborough 3-2 on Saturday.

Swansea, meanwhile, had something of a point to prove. Their 4-3 loss to Norwich on Saturday was their first in seven games and ‘intensity’ has been the buzzword at the Liberty Stadium ever since.

They were so far off their usual pace in falling 3-0 behind at the weekend that Laudrup used his programme notes to spell out his thoughts on players who ‘start to believe’ their hype. His feeling was that too many operated at ‘90 per cent’ and his remedy last night was to recall Leon Britton, who missed the Norwich game with a knee injury.

Gutted: Middlesbrough players are dejected after conceding a goal but Michu celebrates (below)

Gutted: Middlesbrough players are dejected after conceding a goal but Michu celebrates (below)

Swansea City's Michu celebrates

Swansea’s mini-marvel is vital to the team’s tempo and everything that goes with it. Michu gets the goals and credit, but Britton is the most essential cog in a passing machine that has shocked the Premier League for 16 months. He was close to his best at times in the first half, hassling and harrying, springing attacks and deciding when to slow the game down. When Swansea had their first clear chance after 34 minutes, Britton was at the heart of it.

He exchanged passes with Wayne Routledge, and then Michu, before drilling one out wide to Ben Davies. Davies whipped over a cross which Itay Shechter headed into the path of Nathan Dyer, but the winger, clean through, failed to react quickly enough and the ball clattered off his knees and into the hands of Jason Steele.

Collision: Swansea City's Luke Moore is tackled by Middlesbrough's Andre Bikey

Collision: Swansea City's Luke Moore is tackled by Middlesbrough's Andre Bikey

Middlesbrough had chances of their own during an impressive start. George Friend was the architect of their first, out-muscling De Guzman in the Swansea area after 20 minutes and rolling a pass back into the path of Grant Leadbitter, whose shot to the bottom left corner was blocked by Gerhard Tremmel.

Lukas Jutkiewicz then carved out another opportunity, bursting through the middle and playing in Leadbitter. He had space to delve further into Swansea’s area but pulled the trigger early and shot straight at Tremmel.

‘It was frustrating,’ said Mowbray. ‘On the balance, it was tight, fine margins win and lose. We could easily have won 1-0 rather than lost 1-0.

Heads: Michu (left) challenges for the ball as Swansea battle to victory over Middlesbrough

Heads: Michu (left) challenges for the ball as Swansea battle to victory over Middlesbrough

Boro started the second half well, Justin Hoyte and Leadbitter coming close, but Swansea’s increased fluency told. Laudrup brought Ki Sung-Yeung on for Routledge after 64 minutes and his impact was almost immediate, the Korean bursting down the left and playing a pass square to De Guzman. The Dutchman’s low shot was comfortably handled by Steele.

De Guzman then hit the bar in the 73rd minute with a 25-yard free-kick, before Ki created a good chance for Michu with a through-ball from midfield. Hines put in a superb block but had to suffer the unfortunate consequences.

‘It’s fantastic to reach the semi-finals,’ Laudrup added. ‘I asked all my players who had played in a cup final and no one had. At the end there was a lot of relief and I think everyone can be proud. Now we want the next step and want to go to the final. Whoever we play it will be very special.’

Tough luck: Middlesbrough are left to rue missing out on a place in the last four

Tough luck: Middlesbrough are left to rue missing out on a place in the last four

Tough luck: Middlesbrough are left to rue missing out on a place in the last four

Swansea 3 Norwich 4: On-song Canaries stun Swans in thriller

Swansea 3 Norwich 4: On-song Canaries stun Swans in thriller

Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:54 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:21 GMT, 8 December 2012

Norwich held off Swansea's second-half fightback to extend their
unbeaten run in the Premier League to nine games with a thrilling win at the Liberty
Stadium.

The Canaries had stunned their high-flying hosts with goals from Steven
Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt giving them a 3-0 half-time
lead.

High times: Norwich City striker Grant Holt

High times: Norwich City striker Grant Holt

MATCH FACTS

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Routledge, de Guzman, Ki, Michu, Graham (Shechter 68). Subs Not Used: Cornell, Bartley, Monk, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien.

Booked: Williams,Rangel.

Goals: Michu 51, de Guzman 59, Michu 90.

Norwich: Bunn,Martin,Bassong,Whittaker (Barnett 90), Garrido, Johnson, Snodgrass, Howson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt (Morison 82). Subs Not Used: Rudd, Jackson, Fox, Elliott Bennett, Tierney.

Booked: Martin.

Goals: Whittaker 16, Bassong 40, Holt 44, Snodgrass 77.

Att: 20,294

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

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Swansea rallied through strikes from Michu and Jonathan De Guzman, but Robert Snodgrass made sure of the win with an excellent free-kick, before Michu netted again in injury time.

Both sides' excellent recent form suggested a tight encounter, but Norwich blew those predictions out of the water with a superb first-half display to punish the sluggish Swans, who were without the injured Leon Britton.

The combination of a tigerish midfield effort from the likes of Snodgrass, Jonny Howson and Wes Hoolahan, and the same trio's neat link work in attack, proved too much for their hosts to contend with.

There were warning signs inside the opening seconds as Bradley
Johnson met Snodgrass' corner to force a save from Gerhard Tremmel.

The pressure built as Swansea were hassled and harried out of their
rhythm and Howson rattled the base of the post after seizing on Ben
Davies' weak defensive header.

The Canaries took a deserved lead in the 16th minute. Snodgrass laid the
ball off to Whittaker, and the ex-Rangers man was allowed to run and
run before cutting in and firing low past Tremmel for his first Norwich
goal.

On his knees: Swansea City goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel

On his knees: Swansea City goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel

Head case: Swansea striker Miguel Michu celebrates scoring a goal

Head case: Swansea striker Miguel Michu celebrates scoring a goal

Snodgrass forced another save from Tremmel as he cut in from the right
flank, before Swansea briefly rediscovered some of the zip that had seen
them rise as high as seventh in the table.

Their first genuine goalscoring chance came after 28 minutes. Danny
Graham did well to connect with De Guzman's flicked cross, only to see
his header come back off the bar.

Michu almost lucked into an equaliser five minutes later, the Spaniard's
drive took a huge deflection off Wayne Routledge to leave Mark Bunn
stranded, but the ball spun just wide of his right-hand post.

Swansea had been building momentum, but they were stopped in their tracks as Bassong struck for the third time in four games.

Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong scores their second goal

On song: Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong scores their second goal

Ruled out: Norwich goalkeeper Bunn is fouled by Michu (9) before Shechter turns the ball into the net

Ruled out: Norwich goalkeeper Bunn is fouled by Michu (9) before Shechter turns the ball into the net

Holt hoisted a cross to the far post, where the defender rose above Davies to beat Tremmel at the German's near post.

Just two minutes later it was 3-0.
Snodgrass' perfectly delivered free-kick picked out an unmarked Holt,
who easily steered his header beyond Tremmel to cap a superb first half
for the Canaries.
Johnson almost made it 4-0 just two minutes after the break.

Angel Rangel gifted the ball to the
visitors on the edge of his own box and Howson's delightful lobbed pass
picked out his midfield partner who manufactured an outside of the foot
volley which struck the bar.

Michu gave Swansea a route back into
the game as he slotted into the far corner from Davies' low ball across
the box in the 51st minute.

Hots hot: Swansea's Danny Graham battles for the ball with Russell Martin

Hots hot: Swansea's Danny Graham battles for the ball with Russell Martin

On the run: Swansea City's Nathan Dyer skips past Bradley Johnson

On the run: Swansea City's Nathan Dyer skips past Bradley Johnson

The Spaniard almost turned provider for Graham, and Bunn had to make a sharp save to deny the striker with Norwich starting to show signs of nerves and the game bearing little resemblance to the opening 45 minutes.

Those nerves only increased as Swansea got back within a goal on 59 minutes. Nathan Dyer outpaced Javier Garrido down the flank, and when his cross was not cleared De Guzman volleyed in.
Graham could have levelled eight minutes later but Garrido did superbly to intervene as the striker ran in on goal.

His replacement Itay Shechter had the ball in the net soon after as Bunn failed to hold the ball under pressure from Michu, but referee Howard Webb ruled the Spaniard had fouled the keeper.

Michu then headed wide as he made a trademark late arrival into the box, before Norwich doused Swansea's fire with their fourth of the afternoon.

Ashley Williams was adjudged to have hauled down Holt, but was only booked by Webb despite clearly being the last man.

Snodgrass stepped up to curl home a beautiful strike from the resulting free-kick and secure the points for Norwich, meaning Michu's second in injury time was not enough for Swansea.

Feet first: Danny Graham battles for the ball with Javier Garrido

Feet first: Danny Graham battles for the ball with Javier Garrido

Man of the moment: Norwich manager Chris Houghton

Man of the moment: Norwich manager Chris Houghton

Newcastle 1 Swansea 2 – match report

Newcastle 1 Swansea 2: Michu and De Guzman put profligate Magpies in a flap

PUBLISHED:

16:52 GMT, 17 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 17 November 2012

Michu set Swansea on the road to victory at Newcastle as the misfiring Magpies slipped to a second home defeat in seven days.

On a day when the home side were prevented from fielding their own big-money frontman Papiss Cisse because of a wrangle with the Senegal Football Federation, the depth of Alan Pardew's squad was exposed once again.

A team shorn of Cisse, the suspended Fabricio Coloccini and the injured Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez once again failed to score in a home game and allowed three points to slip tamely from their grasp.

Not this time: Swansea's Ashley Williams thwarts Demba Ba

Not this time: Swansea's Ashley Williams thwarts Demba Ba

Match facts

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Simpson (Bigirimana 73), Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson (Shola Ameobi 45), Sammy Ameobi (Marveaux 78), Ba. Subs not used: Elliot, Amalfitano, Tavernier, Abeid.

Goals: Ba 90

Booked: Santon

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Dyer (Routledge 61), Michu (Graham 81), Hernandez, Shechter (Agustien 65). Subs not used: Cornell, Chico, Moore, Tiendalli.

Goals: Michu 58, De Guzman 87

Booked: Britton, Shechter, Rangel

Referee: Phil Dowd

Att: 49,403

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Last Sunday it was West Ham, this time Swansea were the beneficiaries.

Newcastle had chances – Hatem Ben
Arfa was denied a spectacular first-half opener by Swans goalkeeper
Gerhard Tremmel – and Demba Ba, who struck in injury time, was guilty of
a series of costly earlier misses.

However, the visitors were more than a
match for their hosts and were good value for their win, which was
secured by Michu's 58th-minute header and a second from Jonathan de
Guzman three minutes from time.

There were boos on the final whistle
from sections of the home fans among a crowd of 49,403, with memories of
last season's champagne football increasingly distant amid a run of
seven Barclays Premier League games which has brought just one victory.

Cisse, who scored both goals in a 2-0
win at the Liberty Stadium last season, was conspicuous by his absence
after Senegal carried through their threat to invoke FIFA's five-day
rule following his failure to report for international duty because of
injury.

Tough tussle: Newcastle's Danny Simpson tangles with Nathan Dyer (left)

Tough tussle: Newcastle's Danny Simpson tangles with Nathan Dyer (left)

That, combined with Pardew's other
selection problems, gave something of a make-do-and-mend look to the
team and perhaps understandably, they were disjointed.

The system with which they began was
nominally 4-4-1-1, but at times, resembled more like 2-1-5-1-1 with
right-back Danny Simpson repeatedly finding himself more advanced than
winger Ben Arfa, and holding midfielder Cheick Tiote frequently
out-numbered as Swansea broke at pace.

Michu, employed behind lone striker
Itay Shechter, caused all kinds of problems as the home side struggled
to pick him up, and on more than one occasion central defender Mike
Williamson was left chasing shadows as a result of the Spaniard's
intelligent movement.

Cutting edge: But Ba's scissor kick goes just wide

Cutting edge: But Ba's scissor kick goes just wide

The visitors might have struck the
first blow when Nathan Dyer scuffed a sixth-minute shot across the face
of goal, and Tim Krul was relieved to clutch Pablo Hernandez's
long-range effort to his midriff four minutes later.

Michu tested the Dutchman from distance with a curling left-footed effort with the Magpies short of inspiration.

However, as Ben Arfa picked up the
baton, they gradually started to force their way into the game. The
Frenchman blasted a right-footed effort into the side-netting and
delivered a 27th-minute cross which Ba glanced just wide.

Poacher: Michu (left) heads home to give Swansea the lead at St James' Park

Poacher: Michu (left) heads home to give Swansea the lead at St James' Park

Going nowhere: Hatem Ben Arfa (right) nips in to take the ball from Swansea's Ben Davies

Going nowhere: Hatem Ben Arfa (right) nips in to take the ball from Swansea's Ben Davies

But it took a fine one-handed save by
Tremmel to keep out Ben Arfa's fizzing left-footed strike after he cut
inside 12 minutes before the break.

As Newcastle pressed forward, the
Swans took advantage of the space they left behind them and Krul had to
save twice from Shechter in quick succession with his defence in
disarray.

But he would have been helpless had
Michu managed to hit the target with a 41st-minute header after the
Israeli had combined with Hernandez down the left.

Danny Simpson had to get in a vital
clearing header after Dyer had caught the Magpies flat-footed with a
quickly-taken free-kick after the restart.

Arms race: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi (right) fends off Jonathan De Guzman

Arms race: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi (right) fends off Jonathan De Guzman

Stout defending: Cheick Tiote (right) is halted by Swansea's Miguel Michu

Stout defending: Cheick Tiote (right) is halted by Swansea's Miguel Michu

Ba scuffed a volley after superbly
controlling Davide Santon's cross on his chest and then Vurnon Anita
almost capped good inter-play between the Ameobi brothers when he
drilled inches over the top from 25 yards.

The chances were starting to come
thick and fast and Ba might have scored twice inside a minute, first
side-footing wastefully wide from Sammy Ameobi's driven cross and then
shooting straight at Tremmel after being played in by Ben Arfa.

But Swansea should really have been
in front 10 minutes into the second half when Hernandez broke down the
left and squared for Shechter, who took his time, but blasted a
right-footed shot over.

Too little, too late: Ba (2nd left) watches his header cross the goal line

Too little, too late: Ba (2nd left) watches his header cross the goal line

Krul had to dive to his right two
minutes later to turn away Hernandez's strike, but there was nothing he
could do seconds later when the same man latched onto his poor clearance
and crossed for Michu to head firmly into the bottom corner.

Ba headed a 64th-minute Tiote cross
towards goal, but without the power to trouble Tremmel, and then could
not react quickly enough to direct Shola Ameobi's driven cross on target
three minutes later.

The Magpies were demonstrating
little composure in front of goal, and were grateful to see Michu
uncharacteristically do the same to miscue Hernandez's 76th-minute cross
wide.

But the sting in the tail arrived
three minutes from time when Krul could only parry substitute Danny
Graham's shot and De Guzman smashed home the rebound from a tight angle,
making Ba's late header after substitute Sylvain Marveaux had struck
the bar practically irrelevant.

Pensive: Michael Laudrup

Pensive: Alan Pardew

Pensive: Swansea manager Michael Laudrup and counterpart Alan Pardew

Close call: Ba rues a chance that got away

Close call: Ba rues a chance that got away

Brendan Rodgers disappointed with Joe Cole comeback

Rodgers disappointed with Cole's performance in midfielder's Anfield comeback

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 1 November 2012

Yet another comeback from Joe Cole ended in disappointment and the Liverpool midfielder left Anfield after a 3-1 Capital One Cup exit to Swansea with manager Brendan Rodgers less than impressed.

The former England international, who turns 31 next week, made his first start since the Europa League qualifier against Gomel on August 2 but lasted just 45 minutes.

He was withdrawn at half-time for captain Steven Gerrard with Rodgers admitting former Swans star Joe Allen was the only midfielder to perform well in the opening 45 minutes.

Off the pace: Cole (right) made his Liverpool comeback on Wednesday night

Off the pace: Cole (right) made his Liverpool comeback on Wednesday night

Chico Flores and Nathan Dyer put the visitors 2-0 up and, although another interval substitute Luis Suarez quickly reduced the deficit, Jonathan de Guzman added a third in added time.

'The club have invested an astronomical amount of money on a talented player and Joe had the opportunity,' said Rodgers.

'He has been back fit a couple of weeks and his opportunities have been limited but you have to see.

'I thought it was difficult for him, it was too slow and it wasn't what I would expect from a team I tried to set up to be dynamic.'

Cole, signed on a free transfer from Chelsea by Roy Hodgson on wages of 100,000 a week, spent last season on loan at Lille.

He returned to Anfield this summer determined to make an impression on a manager he knew from their time together at Stamford Bridge but he is just not fitting in and further first-team chances appear slim.

Disappointed: Cole was hauled off by Rodgers at half-time

Disappointed: Cole was hauled off by Rodgers at half-time

Rodgers was unhappy with his side's first-half performance in particular and was gracious to admit his former club deserved their victory.

'I thought the best team won. We were too slow, there was no tempo in the first half,' admitted the Northern Irishman, who left south Wales to take over from Kenny Dalglish at Anfield in June.

'It is disappointing. You can only hurt (from the result) if you are the better team and I thought they were the better team.

'I am disappointed to be out of the competition but I don't think we can have any complaints.'

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, having succeeded Rodgers, hailed the club's achievement of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time.

Marching on: Swansea progressed to the quarter-finals

Marching on: Swansea progressed to the quarter-finals

'I think we deserved the win and it is not very often you can say that as a manager playing at Anfield against Liverpool,' said the former Denmark international, whose side now have a home tie against npower Championship side Middlesbrough.

'To win at Anfield is great so maybe it is (the best performance of his short reign).

'For 80 minutes we played a really good game with some fantastic counter-attacks and it was nice to watch.

'It is the first time the club has gone so far in the competition and to be in the last eight is great.

'It is a great achievement for the squad and the fans and now we can enjoy it but not for too long because we have another big game at Chelsea.'

Liverpool 1 Swansea 3: Match report

Liverpool 1 Swansea 2: It's Chico time for Laudrup as holders are dumped out at Anfield

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 31 October 2012

Liverpool's defence of the League Cup ended as Brendan Rodgers' selection gamble backfired, as former club Swansea progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

The Northern Irishman left the south Wales club in the summer to take over from Kenny Dalglish but it was the visitors who had the last laugh in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at Anfield.

Chico Flores and Nathan Dyer put the Swans 2-0 up with 17 minutes to go and although substitute Luis Suarez quickly pulled one back De Guzman made it 3-1 in added time to loosen the eight-time winners' grip on the trophy.

More to follow…

Getting their heads in front: Chico celebrates scoring the first goal

Getting their heads in front: Chico celebrates scoring the first goal

Match facts

Liverpool: Jones, Henderson, Carragher, Coates, Robinson, Allen, Shelvey, Downing, Cole, Assaidi, Yesil. Subs not used: Ward, Suarez, Gerrard, Fernandez Saez, Sterling, Skrtel, Wisdom.

Goal: Suarez 76

Swansea: Tremmel, Chico, Richards, Williams, Tiendalli, Hernandez, Britton, Ki, Dyer, de Guzman, Michu. Subs not used: Cornell, Graham, Routledge, Monk, Shechter, Agustien, Davies.

Goals: Chico 34, Dyer 72, De Guzman 90

Referee: Lee Probert.

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Rising high: Chico gets to the ball first to score

Rising high: Chico gets to the ball first to score

Head over heels: Chico celebrates in front of the fans

Head over heels: Chico celebrates in front of the fans

Old boy: Joe Allen competes with Jonathan De Guzman during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round tie

Old boy: Joe Allen competes with Jonathan De Guzman during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round tie

Doubling the lead: Swansea's Nathan Dyer scores their second goal

Doubling the lead: Swansea's Nathan Dyer scores their second goal

That should do it: Dyer celebrates his goal

That should do it: Dyer celebrates his goal

Swansea sign Arsenal centre back Kyle Bartley

Swansea continue summer spending spree with Bartley capture from Arsenal

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 16 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Swansea have signed Arsenal centre back Kyle Bartley for 1million.

The 21-year-old completed a medical at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday night and is understood to have joined on a three-year deal.

He posted on his Twitter account: '”Swansea deal complete. Very happy. Was an extremely tough decision for
me to leave Arsenal, but felt time was right.

On the move: Kyle Bartley (right) has joined Swansea from Arsenal

On the move: Kyle Bartley (right) has joined Swansea from Arsenal

'Swansea offered me an opportunity.
And I'm extremely excited to start my career here, will always be
thankful to Arsenal for my education.'

He added 'Was the toughest decision of my life. But it is a permanent deal. And now I'm raring to go with Swansea.'

Bartley began his career with Bolton but made the switch to the Gunners in 2007.

He signed a new contract at the Emirates Stadium last summer and spent the season on loan at Rangers after a previous short spell at Ibrox. But he was limited to 19 appearances by a hernia problem.

In the market: Michael Laudrup hopes to add further to his Swansea squad

In the market: Michael Laudrup hopes to add further to his Swansea squad

He will be hoping his move to Swansea allows him the chance to gain regular first-team football having made just one appearance for Arsenal.

He becomes Michael Laudrup's fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Michu, Chico Flores, Jonathan de Guzman and Itay Schechter.

Meanwhile, the Swans are hoping to tie up a deal for Preston striker Jamie Proctor and are back on the trail of Getafe's Miku.

Proctor, 20, has been on trial at Blackpool but Michael Laudrup is keen to recruit him as a squad player. Striker Miku is valued at 8m but Swansea hope 5m will be enough. They also remain in talks with Valencia for winger Pablo Hernandez.

Michael Laudrup plans talks with Joe Allen

Swansea boss Laudrup plans showdown talks with 15m Liverpool target Allen

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 6 August 2012

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is set to hold talks with Joe Allen over the midfielder's future, with Liverpool retaining an interest in the 15million-rated Team GB star.

Allen, 22, has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield, where he would be reunited with former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers.

It is understood Swansea have rejected an offer of 12.5million, which included loaning Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey this season.

Showdown talks: Allen (right) met Laudrup for the first time on Monday

Showdown talks: Allen (right) met Laudrup for the first time on Monday

However, there is believed to be a clause in Allen's contract that would leave the Welsh club obligated to accept a bid of 15million.

Laudrup spoke to Allen on Monday for the first time since taking over in June, although he insisted the pair did not discuss any potential move to Anfield.

But the Dane expects to talk things through with the Wales international when he returns to training after his Olympic exploits on Wednesday.

Laudrup said: 'Joe Allen showed up today at the training ground, he did not train but I had a small chat with him, but we did not touch the subject right now.

Making a mark: Allen impressed for Swansea in their first Premier League season

Making a mark: Allen impressed for Swansea in their first Premier League season

'I did not think it was the proper moment, but we will have to talk about that with the player to see what he wants so we can say something official, otherwise the rumours will go on until August 31, which is not in anyone's interest.

'On Wednesday he will be back in training with the other two guys who have been at the Olympics and then we will have some talks so it does not go on until the last day of the transfer window.'

Great Dane: Laudrup joined Swansea earlier this summer

Great Dane: Laudrup joined Swansea earlier this summer

While the saga rumbles on, Laudrup is looking to make further additions to his squad having already signed Michu, Jonathan de Guzman and Chico Flores.

A striker and a winger are thought to be high on his list of priorities, and the former Barcelona midfielder said: 'I have two players in mind for two positions, I can't say more than that right now but at the moment that is my intention.

'If something happens to one of the
regular starters like Joe Allen, if he leaves we would need to find a
replacement but the best situation for us would be to have two players
for each position.'

Aside from the speculation over Allen,
defender Ashley Williams has also been linked with Liverpool, while
Scott Sinclair and Neil Taylor have been mentioned as targets for
Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.

But Laudrup was quick to alleviate fears
that a plethora of Swansea's best players could depart the Liberty
before the end of August.

He said: 'There is always rumour, one day it's Joe Allen, one day it is Ashley, the next it's Taylor or it's Leon (Britton) or (Danny) Graham.

'It's normal, you look at it as normal and it says we must be doing something good.

'But you need a competitive team to play in the Premier League so of course we will not sell all our best players because what is the point of being the best club in the Championship'

Swansea expect to unveil Michu on Friday

Swansea set to unveil 2m Michu on Friday after midfielder agrees three-year deal

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UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 19 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Swansea City expect to wrap up a 2million deal for Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu on Friday.

The 26-year-old, who scored 15 goals
in La Liga last season, completed a medical in south Wales on Thursday
and has agreed personal terms on a three-year deal at the Liberty
Stadium.

Soon to be a Swan: Michu is close to joining Swansea

Soon to be a Swan: Michu is close to joining Swansea

Michu is the third new signing of
Michael Laudrup's reign, following the arrival of midfielder Jonathan de
Guzman on loan from Villarreal and the 2million signing of Chico from Genoa,
and his arrival is seen as something of a coup at Swansea.

His form last season – he was the
highest scoring midfielder in the Spanish top flight – drew interest
from Manchester United, Liverpool and Seville.

But Rayo Vallecano's dire financial
state has forced them to sell the Spaniard for well below the 3.14m
release clause in his contract.

Swansea eye Chico and Jonathan de Guzman

Swansea boss Laudrup keen to be reunited with former Mallorca pair Chico and De Guzman

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UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 5 July 2012

Michael Laudrup is eyeing up his first moves as Swansea manager by planning a double swoop for Chico and Jonathan de Guzman.

Laudrup wants to reunite with the duo who starred for him at previous club Mallorca.

Swoop: Swansea want Villarreal's Jonathan De Guzman who is valued at 7m

Swoop: Swansea want Villarreal's Jonathan De Guzman who is valued at 7m

Genoa defender Chico, 25, is rated at 3million while Villarreal want 7m for midfielder De Guzman, 24.