Laudrup looking to stengthen

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup predicts a busy summer transfer window at the Liberty Stadium.

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Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has predicted a busy summer transfer window at the Liberty Stadium and expects to bring in around half a dozen new faces.

Swansea are preparing to round off arguably the finest season in their 101-year history against Fulham on Sunday, with a top-10 finish assured and the Capital One Cup locked safely away in the trophy cabinet.

The south Wales club can look forward to European competition next term, having qualified for the Europa League through their League Cup triumph, and Laudrup is already working behind the scenes to strengthen his squad for the rigours of four tournaments.

Real Betis midfielder Jose Canas and Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas are just two players widely expected to make the summer switch to Swansea.

But Laudrup has promised there will be plenty more additions, with a striker a priority, and suggested he will once again dip into the continental market to get value for money.

He said: "There is an understanding of the players we want, the board know we need to strengthen the squad just to stay where we are. The teams below us in the table will spend heavily to try and get to where we are.

"The names we are talking about, some of them are not expensive, we are not going to sign (Sergio) Aguero or (Luis) Suarez.

"But we have to do it quickly and almost secretly because the moment other clubs in the Premier League get a feeling Swansea are going for a player they might decide they want him as well and that makes it difficult for us.

"We need to strengthen in different positions. I don't want to go into details, but it is no secret I think we need some alternatives for scoring goals.

"But if none of our regular players leave then I think there will be between five or seven players coming in."

Among the regulars Laudrup will hope to still have on his books next season will be defender Ashley Williams, goalkeeper Michel Vorm and forward Michu.

The latter has been the bargain of the season, scoring 22 goals after being snapped up for a little over £2million, and he was rewarded by being named Swansea's player of the season.

Laudrup again heaped praise on the 27-year-old and compared his goalscoring abilities to those of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

He said: "It was not really a surprise to see him win the award, was it?

"He deserves all the credit, not only because of his low cost but because in his first season he has adapted so quickly and been so important.

"He has scored over 20 goals and without him we would be struggling. Goals are so important, goals are what get you points and points are vital.

"It is so difficult what players like him can do, to arrive late in the box.

"We have watched all his goals from this season and I think 90 per cent of them he scores them with first touch, because of the way he arrives in the box.

"That is so difficult to mark, look at (Frank) Lampard, (Steven) Gerrard, how many goals come when they arrive in the box? A player who can do that is worth a lot."


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