MICHAEL Laudrup has admitted that Premier League sensation Michu would probably not have joined Swansea City if the club had struck a deal with Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Swansea were on the brink of sealing a club-record £6.8 million move for Sigurdsson in the summer after his impressive Liberty loan spell last season.
But the Icelander's switch from Hoffenheim collapsed when Brendan Rodgers quit Swansea for Liverpool.
Sigurdsson instead sealed a bumper move to Tottenham Hotspur, and faces his former club for the first time when Swansea go to White Hart Lane tomorrow.
And Laudrup has confessed ahead of the reunion that had Sigurdsson signed for Swansea, 13-goal top-scorer Michu would almost certainly have ended up elsewhere.
"When I saw what he had done for Swansea last season, of course I would have liked Sigurdsson to stay with us," the Dane said.
"But I realised very, very soon that it was not going to be possible.
"He wasn't our player and, when players who are on loan do well, they either go back to their own club or they go to the highest bidder.
"Sigurdsson ended up at Tottenham, and I think he has to be very grateful to Swansea because he and Swansea together got him a big contract at a big club.
"Would we have signed Michu if he had stayed? Probably not, because he is the same position."
Swansea ended up paying only £2.2 million for Michu, who is on the radar of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque thanks to his supreme start to life at the Liberty.
And Laudrup concedes that Michu's success has softened the blow of missing out on Sigurdsson, who had such an influence on Rodgers's Swansea after joining on loan last January.
"If Michu had scored only one or two goals, it would have been different," he added.
"You would have been talking more about the player who was here last season, but Michu has scored around double the number of goals that he (Sigurdsson) got.
"Now Spain are looking at him and that is great, but I think that's normal when he is one of the top scorers."
Michu could lead the line for Swansea tomorrow with Ki Sung-Yueng likely to be recalled at the heart of midfield.
There is still no Pablo Hernandez (thigh), though Laudrup hopes he will be fit for the home clash with Manchester United in eight days' time.
And Michel Vorm also misses out once again even though Swansea had earmarked Spurs as a possible return date.
"Michel is training, but he is still not 100 per cent so he is still not ready," Laudrup said.
"It's the same with Pablo. He is definitely out tomorrow, but we have four games in ten days over Christmas and we want to have him for at least two of those."
Spurs are waiting on the fitness of Gareth Bale (hamstring), with doubts over whether the Wales star will feature.
Even if Bale is absent, Andre Villas-Boas has a host of options in what is a squad packed with quality.
"For me, at this moment, Tottenham are favourites for the fourth Champions League spot," Laudrup said.
"They have some injured players coming back, and they have a very good squad.
"They have good goalkeepers, a good back four, really strong midfielders and then up front they have (Jermain) Defoe, who is one of the top strikers in the league, (Emmanuel) Adebayor, (Aaron) Lennon, who is very gifted, and then obviously Bale.
"Even if he misses out, they can play Sigurdsson or (Clint) Dempsey on the left, so I think this is one of the hardest games in the league for us."
Swansea, meantime, say there are tickets remaining for their Christmas trips to Reading and Fulham.