Swans may make record bid for Whitbread
SWANSEA City are being linked with a club-record breaking £700,000 bid for Millwall defender Zak Whitbread.
The 25-year-old centre-back has been put up for sale after refusing to discuss a new deal with the League One club.
And the Evening Post understands Swansea are among a clutch of clubs who have expressed an interest in the former Liverpool youngster.
Millwall accepted an offer of around £700,000 from Peterborough earlier this week, but the move fell through because of Whitbread's wage demands.
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But it is thought Swansea could pay more than what was on offer at Posh without breaking their wage structure.
And the club are willing and able to eclipse their transfer record — it currently stands at £400,000 — as there is money in the bank following the departures of Roberto Martinez and Jason Scotland this summer.
Even with Peterborough apparently out of the running, there is likely to be stiff competition for Whitbread's signature.
West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers have all been linked with the 6ft 2in American, whose reputation has grown since he left Liverpool for Millwall almost four years ago.
He has made 117 appearances for the Lions — plus eight for Liverpool — and is known for his ability to play from the back as well his strength in the air.
Millwall boss Kenny Jackett had been keen to tie Whitbread to a new contract, but the player was transfer-listed earlier this month after snubbing the club's advances. Jackett wants to cash in on the player now rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer when his current deal expires.
And Swansea are in the hunt for his signature despite the fact that in Garry Monk and Ashley Williams, they already have an established central defensive pairing.
A move for Whitbread may suggest Paulo Sousa is keen on playing three at the back, a system he experimented with on the club's trip to Spain.
The Portuguese has admitted he is still in the hunt for fresh faces ahead of the Championship opener at Leicester in eight days' time.
"I'm still trying to get people in and we want to do it as soon as possible," he said.
"The earlier the better, because it gives the player the chance to get to know our identity and to fight for a starting place."
As well as a central defender, Sousa remains on the trail of a forward.
"It's one of the priorities," he added.
"I hope we will have a new striker in time for Leicester and Pablo Counago is one possibility."
Ipswich frontman Counago rejected a move to Swansea last weekend, but it emerged earlier this week that a deal could be revived.
Reports in Holland, meanwhile, claim Swansea are monitoring Nijmegen striker Jhon van Beukering.