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Swansea City: Michael Laudrup admits Alberto Botia interest - but does not expect to lose Ashley Williams

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 29, 2013

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MICHAEL Laudrup has admitted Alberto Botia is on Swansea City's list of summer targets — but has once again batted away talk of Ashley Williams leaving the Liberty.

Sevilla centre-back Botia has emerged as a possible close-season recruit for Swansea as they prepare to do battle on four fronts in 2013-14.

But Laudrup has been forced — not for the first time in recent weeks — to pour cold water on suggestions that Williams is likely to go through the exit door.

Laudrup denied suggestions emerging from Spain that Swansea made a six-million-euro bid for Botia during the January transfer window.

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But the Swansea manager conceded that the Spanish Olympic squad member is on the radar.

"He is a good player, but there are a lot of good players in that position," Laudrup said.

"He may be on a list but it's a long list.

"We have been linked with three or four players already, and this is only the beginning.

"There will be a lot of rumours with the transfer window coming up."

The Williams speculation does not look like going away any time soon, with yet more newspaper reports yesterday suggesting the Wales captain is a summer target for both Arsenal and Liverpool.

Anfield legend Ian Rush, a former team-mate of Laudrup's at Juventus, suggested this week that the Reds should go all out to take Williams to Merseyside.

"There is nothing to say," Laudrup insisted.

"We know there will be rumours because the players have done well this season, but a lot of our players — including Ashley — have renewed their contracts this season and that is because they want to stay here I think.

"I am not saying that if a player signs a ten-year contract he will stay for ten years, but if you sign a new deal, I think you will stay for at least one more season.

"I understand the rumours with Ashley, but I think he wants to stay.

"I read the story about Arsenal and Liverpool in Denmark — but it's the same story I read four weeks ago.

"Nothing has changed. I think they call it old wine in new bottles."

Another issue for Laudrup is the future of Jonathan de Guzman, who has impressed since joining Swansea on loan from Villarreal last summer.

The midfielder won his first competitive caps for Holland this week, and his progress is unlikely to have gone unnoticed at other clubs.

But Laudrup says there is little they can do to sort out de Guzman's long-term future before the season ends.

"It's difficult to do anything now because not everyone is as lucky as we are," he said.

"Not many clubs have a trophy and 40 points already — they are nearly all fighting to see where they will be next season, whether you are talking about England or Spain.

"Ultimately it is down to Villarreal what happens with Jonathan, and they are still trying to win promotion to La Liga at the moment.

"There is also what the player wants, and I know Jonathan would like to stay here.

"Of course we are not stupid. If someone comes in and offers him three times his salary and his own TV show, he will probably go.

"But I can only talk about intentions at the moment."

Williams and de Guzman will be among those returning to club colours tomorrow after a spell on international duty when Swansea host Tottenham in the Premier League.

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