Michael Laudrup salutes Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones — and drops hint over Danny Graham
MICHAEL Laudrup has put Swansea City on alert ahead of today's Premier League clash with Stoke — in a bid to stop the striker he wants to sign.
Kenwyne Jones (below) leads the line for the Potters at the Liberty knowing he may soon be back in SA1 on a permanent basis.
Swansea are keen to land the big Trinidadian during the January transfer window and have seen an initial bid, thought to be worth around £3 million, turned down by the Potters.
Danny Graham, meantime, looks ever more likely to leave Wales this month after Laudrup confirmed the club have received more than one offer for the former Watford man.
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And the Swansea boss has hinted for the first time that it may be a case of selling Graham and replacing him with Jones.
"I think there will be business this month," Laudrup said.
"I think there will be a lot of business in general, but how much there will be from here I don't know.
"There will be some things, but I don't know how much, how many or when."
Jones is the forward Swansea want most, and it seems Stoke may be prepared to sell even though he is currently their first-choice forward.
The 28-year-old has looked back to his dominant best for the Potters in recent weeks, yet he has spent most of the last season-and-a-half as understudy to Peter Crouch.
"From a journalist's point of view our game with Stoke is fantastic because there are a lot of ingredients," Laudrup added with a smile.
"It gives the game a little bit more because of the rumours about this and that, but I can guarantee you Danny will be playing with Swansea and Kenwyne Jones will play for Stoke.
"He (Jones) is strong, quite fast, very good in the air and he makes good movements.
"He has scored some goals recently and been in good form. He is keeping Crouch out of the team I think, so that means he is doing well. In football you can have spells of form like that — some players grow when they play a lot of consecutive games.
"Will he be trying to impress against us? I think any player who has not played regularly but has been playing for the last few weeks will do everything possible to keep his place."
Laudrup would not divulge which clubs have bid for Graham, though reports suggests Sunderland and Norwich have both firmed up their interest.
The Dane paid tribute to the professionalism shown by Graham in recent weeks — but once again he did not dismiss the idea of letting him leave.
Asked if he would recommend accepting any of the Graham bids, Laudrup said: "In the end it's always about the balance of the team.
"Of course it's important as well what the player thinks. It's a combination of everything — the player, the club, the team — when it comes to making a decision.
"I have spoken to Danny. What we said will stay between us.
"Like I said, what's important is the balance of the team. You can make up your own mind from that." Swansea are in a strong position over Graham given that he still has more than two seasons on his contract and is attracting interest from more than one club.
But Laudrup pointed out: "In life there are more important things than contracts. We are all humans — that's important as well.
"Obviously you have to be professional, but we have to find the best solution for everybody."
Laudrup left Scott Sinclair out of his squad just before the winger departed for Manchester City back in August, but he insists the same will not happen with Graham.
"I can tell you now because it was a long time ago — that was as much Scott's choice as mine," he revealed. "That's not the case now."