Michael Laudrup plans to keep Jonathan de Guzman at Swansea City
MICHAEL Laudrup will make signing Jonathan de Guzman on a permanent basis a top priority for Swansea City — but not before the summer.
Laudrup has been delighted with de Guzman's contribution since the Dutchman arrived on a season-long loan from Villarreal back in July.
But Swansea will not attempt to secure his services on a full-time deal during the January transfer window.
Instead they will go to work on what is likely to be a multi-million pound transfer at the end of this campaign.
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Swansea signed de Guzman on loan with a view to a permanent transfer, but Laudrup has indicated there is no firm agreement in place.
And that means much will depend on the thoughts of Villarreal, who paid more than 8 million euros for de Guzman in the summer of 2011.
Relegated from the Spanish top flight last term, Villarreal are currently in mid-table in the second tier but could still launch a promotion push in the second half of the season.
"Of course Jonathan is a player I would like to stay and I hope we can work a deal out with Villarreal — it would be great," Laudrup said.
"He is on loan until the end of the season, and then what happens happens.
"I think Jonathan is very happy here but again, there are more interests and it is not enough that I want him, that Swansea want him and what Jonathan wants.
"It depends a lot on what Villarreal want, but we are going to try what we can and we will see if it's enough."
Former Dutch Under-21 international de Guzman enjoyed arguably his best day since arriving at Swansea when he netted twice in last weekend's comprehensive win over Stoke.
And his bright display was well-timed given that Danny Blind, the assistant manager of Holland's national team, was in the crowd at the Liberty.
It would not be a big surprise if de Guzman joined Michel Vorm in the next senior Dutch squad.
The Stoke double means de Guzman now has six goals for the season, the same tally he managed in the season spent playing under Laudrup at Real Mallorca.
The 25-year-old's best ever goal tally for one campaign is the 11 he chalked up for Feyenoord in 2007-08.
And the way he is going right now, it is not inconceivable that de Guzman will match that haul in his maiden Premier League season.
"Jonathan is not a second striker, his best position is as the most dynamic midfielder," Laudrup added.
"But when we play with three midfielders, he can still go forward.
"He covers a lot of space and when he starts to run with the ball he keeps the pace, which is very difficult.
"He scores goals as well. I don't know what he averages in his career — I don't think it's many — but he's already scored a few and has assists. He has been important for us.
"I am happy for him, especially that he scored a free-kick (against Stoke) because I have seen him do that a lot in training."