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Swansea ready to dive in for Kenwyne Jones
Barclays Premiership club Swansea City coached by Denmark-legen Brian Laudrup is understood to be preparing an offer for Stoke target man, T&T’s Kenwyne Jones. Stoke chairman Peter Coates says his club are under no financial pressure to sell players during the transfer window.
However, a bid from Swansea could test Stoke’s determination to keep the striker who is competing with Peter Crouch for a place in Tony Pulis’s side. Jones has started Stoke’s last seven Premier League games having taken his chance when Crouch was injured.
Aston Villa and QPR have also been linked with Jones, who cost £8m from Sunderland in 2010 and is under contract until the summer of 2014. The Potters are understood to be refusing to loan out the 28-year-old, leaving Swansea considering an offer to buy him instead, meaning they will have to break their transfer fee record if they are to sign the T&T striker.
Sources in Stoke have indicated the Potters are looking to recoup as much as possible of the £8 million they paid Sunderland for Jones in 2010. Swansea’s current highest fee is the £5.55m they paid Valencia for Pablo Hernandez in August, and they are thought to have identified Jones as a prime transfer window target.
The Swans have not yet made a bid for the powerfully built Jones, and it is understood Stoke will only be willing to entertain offers involving cash up front. Jones has 18 months left on his current contract and has recently forced himself back into Stoke’s first team, scoring three goals in his last five Premier League appearances.
But prior to this fine run of form, the 28-year-old was overlooked in favour of Crouch, whose £10m move from Tottenham eclipsed the then club record fee Stoke had paid for Jones two and a half years ago. Pulis says he is eager to add to his squad this month, but he will only be able to do so if he sells players first.
Sunderland also wants to sign Swansea striker Danny Graham and Jones is believed to be the Swans’ preferred choice as a replacement. Coates was unwilling to comment on individual players, but said City would only consider sales if the deals strengthened the club in the long term.
He added: “If we did make changes then we would try to make them on the basis that they improve what we have got. We are not under any pressure to sell.” The chairman is not anticipating a busy January. He said: “You never know what might turn up, but I wouldn’t expect us to be over active. “There is nothing imminent. We are very pleased with the business we did in the summer and things will only happen if we think they are right for us.”
Stoke may have clinched their most important deal of the season last week when captain Ryan Shawcross signed a new five-and-a-half year contract. Coates added: “Ryan is an important player for us. It was a long, drawn-out process, but we got there in the end. “He and Robert Huth are very much a central part of the team. People say you build from the back, and we have a very good centre-back pairing and goalkeeper.”
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