MICHAEL Laudrup has spelled out his admiration for Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas — and hinted that Danny Graham could be allowed to leave Swansea City next month.
Laudrup has also revealed that Alan Tate is set to stay at Leeds United for the rest of the season — and says he will discuss the Liberty futures of every one of his non-regulars in the next few days.
Swansea will be without Michu at Fulham today because of the Spaniard’s ankle injury, meaning the focus is on Laudrup’s centre-forward options.
Graham, Itay Shechter and Luke Moore have just one Premier League goal between them this season, and all the signs are that Laudrup will move for a striker when the transfer window opens next week.
And when asked whether Aspas, the 25-year-old who is set to win a first Spain cap in the new year, was a target, Laudrup would not rule the possibility out.
“He is a good player, a good forward who is doing very well,” said the Swansea manager.
“I know the player, but to say he is coming here — well, that’s a big step.” Laudrup is always cagey over potential transfer targets, but admits the wheels are in motion as Swansea bid to strengthen their squad for the second half of the season.
“We are always looking for players, not only in one position,” he added.
“If you want to do your job well, you always have to be prepared for everything and you need a couple of players for all 11 positions.
“We have a list of players for every position that we have made in the last three or four months.
“And you have to be prepared when the window comes. You cannot start when the shop opens, and there are a lot of things going on.
“When I look at players I look first for quality, second I ask do they fit into this environment, this squad and this city? Then there is the salary and the fee.”
Aspas’s agent has suggested that although there is a lot of interest, it is “impossible” that the frontman will move on next month.
And it is thought Aspas is one of a number of attacking players on Swansea’s radar as Laudrup’s looks to pep up his squad.
It could be that there are departures as well.
Graham has been linked with a number of clubs having failed to hold down a place under Laudrup, and the Dane has not ruled out the possibility of the £3.5 million man moving on.
“There has not been a bid for Danny, but there have been lots of rumours and there may be a little truth in them, I don’t know,” Laudrup said.
“I will speak to Danny because I want to know what the player wants.
“That goes for Danny and for all the other players who are not playing regularly — Kyle Bartley, Garry Monk, Luke Moore, Mark Gower, Jazz Richards.
“I don’t think you need to ask the players who are playing — do you want to stay? But it’s very important to know what the players who are not playing so much want, and I will speak to them after we play Aston Villa.
“You cannot wait and wait.
“It’s important for me to know how the players feel, then we will take it from there.”
Tate, meantime, seems set to extend his stay at Leeds until the end of the season.
The long-serving defender’s initial loan spell comes to an end on January 1.
“I think Alan is playing, he is doing well there, and I think he will continue there for the rest of the season,” Laudrup said.