Michael Laudrup drops a hint over Swansea City transfer plans
MICHAEL Laudrup has indicated that his top priority this summer will be to sign a centre-forward.
The Swansea City manager is tipped to bring in up to six new recruits during the close season as he bids to build a squad capable of competing on four fronts next term.
And though Laudrup will want to strengthen his options right across the pitch, it seems a new striker will be highest on the agenda.
Swansea sold Danny Graham to Sunderland for £5 million in the last transfer window and did not replace him.
And there is a strong possibility that Itay Shechter will leave the Liberty Stadium when his season-long loan from Kaiserslautern comes to an end next month.
If Shechter departs, Luke Moore would be the only senior central striker on Swansea's books.
Michu has spent much of the season filling that role, but Swansea's 21-goal top scorer is much happier playing as a No. 10.
So it seems certain that Laudrup will move for at least one new forward ahead of 2013-14 — and the Dane concedes it is inevitable that frontmen will be linked with Swansea in the coming weeks and months.
"You can't stop rumours and I can't tell you not to ask me about something you have heard," Laudrup said.
"When it is one forward and then another and another, I cannot lie to you and say we are not looking for a forward. If there are rumours it is because people think this club is looking for someone in that position, and it will go on until the start of next season."
Laudrup is interested in Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku, who has impressed on loan at West Brom this season.
There is a suggestion that £18 million teenager will go out on loan again next term — but that this time he wants to play European football.
Swansea could offer him that opportunity, although Albion boss Steve Clarke has claimed there is no truth in stories linking Lukaku with the Liberty.
Another forward Laudrup admires is Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas.
There were suggestions he could be on his way to Valencia, but that move looks to be off because the Champions League regulars' interest has cooled.
Celta, who are battling against relegation from La Liga, want in excess of £8 million for Aspas, but it may be that they have to accept less — particularly after the 25-year-old was sent off for a butt in the derby match against Deportivo La Coruna last month.
Laudrup is unwilling to discuss specific targets as Swansea attempt to focus on their five remaining games this season.
He said: "I don't want to go into detail, but we are looking for players, as we have been all season.
"Sometimes we have to take people off the list because it is not possible or we change our opinion.
"But we have a list for every position. If one of our players who we did not expect to leave suddenly leaves then you cannot stand there saying 'Now what?'
"You need to have a list of players in mind and that is what we have."