MICHAEL Laudrup has insisted he is staying at the Liberty Stadium despite a war of words between the club and his agent which erupted tonight.
Initially it emerged that Swansea City had severed all ties with Bayram Tutumlu, who they claimed was trying to dictate their transfer policy.
This website revealed earlier this evening that Swansea sources were claiming Tutumlu wanted control of transfers, particularly surrounding the potential sale of the club’s star defender Ashley Williams.
Swansea have worked closely with Tutumlu for much of Laudrup’s reign, but sources said relations had broken down spectacularly since the final few weeks of last season.
And we understood chairman Huw Jenkins had told Tutumlu that he would not deal with him any more over transfers, a move which seemed to cast further doubt over whether Laudrup would still be Swansea manager next season.
But within minutes of us breaking the story, Tutumlu responded with a scathing attack on the club, claiming chairman Huw Jenkins, "wants to bring in players who do not have the quality for Michael Laudrup”.
Tutumlu said he was unconcerned about Swansea’s decision not to deal with him any more.
“I don’t work for Swansea City,” he added.
“Huw Jenkins has paid me nothing, but I have spent a lot to try to bring players to Swansea.
“My relationship with Michael Laudrup is excellent, as he has told you himself.
“Nothing changes between me and Michael. I have known Michael for 25 years.”
Tutumlu has refuted all allegations against him.
Speaking exclusively to this website, Laudrup said: “Bayram is my agent and that’s not going to change.
“If the club do not want to work with him or Bayram does not want to work with them, it’s their problem not mine.
“The only thing I care about is to have the best players possible at Swansea who are within range of the economy of the club.
“Again I must say that my intention is to stay - I have repeated it so many times in the last three months.
“I have 100 per cent confidence in Bayram, but if the club don’t want to work with him or he doesn’t want to work with them, they have to live with that. It will not change my relationship with Bayram one centimetre.
“The only thing I am interested in is having the best players at Swansea within the budget that is possible.
“That’s what I have been fighting for every day, last year when I arrived and this year as well. That will always be the most important thing for me wherever I end up in the future.”
Laudrup’s future already appeared to be under threat because of a dispute over transfer policy. But his position now looks even more uncertain given that he has worked alongside Tutumlu since his days as a Barcelona player.
The club’s owners have reportedly declared that they will have no more involvement in any transactions or dealings with players involving Tutumlu.
It is thought matters came to a head over Wales captain Williams, who has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool. The Post understands Jenkins is not interested in sanctioning a move and since then it is understood relations with Tutumlu have deteriorated.
Swansea sources have claimed they believe Tutumlu is attempting to recruit players behind the club’s back, including a host of potential signings — such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arouna Kone — who have been mentioned in the media in recent weeks.
The sources say Swansea have not been part of a number of proposed deals or offers which have been made by Tutumlu, and say Tutumlu is linked to a number of players, but he insists he does not represent anyone apart from Laudrup. It is thought he has played a part in a number of the deals done since Laudrup arrived in Wales last summer, but it appears the two parties will not work together again.
And given how long Laudrup has worked with Tutumlu, it is now uncertain whether he will be in SA1 come the start of pre-season next month.
It is understood Jenkins remains in contact with Laudrup, and that the Dane has offered up a fresh list of potential transfer targets having seen a number of players he previously asked to sign go elsewhere.
But it is doubtful whether any of those players will arrive given the breakdown in relations between Tutumlu and the Swansea board.
Laudrup has been linked with clubs all over Europe in recent weeks, with Roma and Fenerbahce the latest mentioned as potential suitors. The 48-year-old has also been touted as a potential boss for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Paris St Germain and Monaco among others.
Laudrup only signed a contract extension with Swansea in March, and he told this website last week that his “intention” was to remain in charge next term despite all the speculation.
Perhaps tellingly, however, Laudrup was critical of Swansea over the lack of attacking recruits this summer, saying it was up the board to explain why no new faces had arrived.
A statement from the club, meanwhile, insisted all concerned were agreed on transfer policy — but, notably, did not touch on the manager’s future.