SWANSEA City have opened talks over a permanent deal for Jonathan de Guzman — but parent-club Villarreal could demand 8 million euros for the Dutch international star.
Midfielder de Guzman has got stronger and stronger during his first Premier League campaign having arrived at the Liberty on a season-long loan.
His double in the Capital One Cup final took him to eight goals for the season, and he has racked up 35 appearances so far in a Swansea shirt.
Boss Michael Laudrup has made it clear he wants to keep hold of de Guzman, who he brought to Wales and previously signed when he was in charge at Real Mallorca.
But Swansea could face a battle to agree a fee for the 25-year-old.
Villarreal paid around 8 million euros — almost £7 million — for de Guzman when he joined from Mallorca in August 2011, and there are suggestions that the Spanish club will look to recoup that sum before letting their man go.
Swansea may be reluctant to stump up that sort of cash for a player who would then become their record signing.
One option could be to try to take de Guzman on a second year-long loan deal, though Villarreal are unlikely to be keen on that idea.
Ideally, Swansea want to complete a full-time move for one of their star performers this season.
"We are in discussions with Jonathan, his agent and Villarreal to sign Jonathan on a permanent deal," a Swansea spokesman said.
After taking a while to get up to speed, de Guzman has really started to flourish in Swansea's midfield.
His performances in the Premier League saw him land a first Dutch senior cap in the friendly with Italy last month.
"Jonathan loves life in Wales and is delighted to have made it to the Holland squad," said de Guzman's agent, Jan de Visser.
"It is only the beginning of March. I will be having a meeting with the Swansea City board in two weeks' time."
Villarreal are currently fifth in the Segunda Liga — Spanish football's second tier — and are in with a chance of winning promotion back to the top flight.
But de Guzman had an unhappy time at the club last season and it seems he wants to stay on at Swansea.