MICHAEL Laudrup has admitted Ki Sung-Yueng would have been “perfect” for Swansea City — but they didn’t want him back until it was too late.
Laudrup looked into the possibility of recalling Ki from his season-long loan spell at Sunderland after discovering that Jose Canas will be out for a month with an ankle ligament injury.
But any thoughts of bringing Ki back to Wales became irrelevant when Swansea realised they had missed their opportunity to do so.
Huw Jenkins told the Post earlier this week that Swansea had until January 31 to recall Ki if they wished.
It turns out he was wrong.
On checking the small print, Swansea realised they could only have brought Ki back this month had they given Sunderland seven days’ notice before the end of December.
It is hard to understand how Swansea allowed such a clause to be inserted when they agreed to let Ki join Sunderland last summer.
When asked about it yesterday, Laudrup’s face suggested he was bemused.
“I looked into it,” said the Swansea manager. “I was thinking because of the circumstances with Canas that Ki is a player we know and is doing well.
“He would have been perfect if Sunderland had lost semi-final to Manchester United.
“I said before that I would not bring him back. That was not because he was not doing well, but about the mental part of bringing back a player who is playing regularly and has the chance to play in a cup final.
“Things changed when we got the injury to Canas, but the loan agreement said we could not (recall KI).
“The agreement said it should have been done by the end of December, so it’s not a possibility.
“The only way we can change that is if Ki and both clubs all agree to end the loan, but of course Sunderland are not going to do that.
“I was disappointed, but I did not make the loan agreement.”
Maybe next time they send a player on loan, Swansea may take more care over the terms of the deal.
For now, they must plan ahead without Ki — and that means they may move for a midfielder as well as a forward before the January window closes.
“We are looking into that position because of the injury of Canas,” Laudrup added.
“But it’s a difficult position because if players are playing somewhere else, their clubs say they cannot go. Finding players who are not playing is not easy.”
Laudrup was reluctant to talk transfers yesterday, the Dane refusing to comment on Tom Ince amid suggestions the Blackpool winger may be on his way to Monaco.
When pressed on whether Swansea are close to bringing in any fresh faces, Laudrup added: “The club are working hard, but these things are very difficult.
“Let’s say we want a player. There might be four or five clubs interested, so the club want to know how much we will pay.
“Then the agent says ‘Swansea? Maybe, but we will see next week’.
“It only gets worse as you get closer to January 31, which is like a television show.
“A couple of other clubs have done some business. Hull have done very well to sign two (Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long). They have spent a lot of money, and I don’t think we’re going to do that.
“If we are looking at a loan deal, but they are not easy. I have to admit, it’s not easy.
“I would be very happy if we’d got one or even two players in on January 1. I would have had the players for another month, which makes a hell of a difference.
“But it’s not a perfect world, and every day we get closer to the deadline, it gets even harder.”