Swansea City gem Joe Allen: Player profile
Clubs will have to up the ante if they wish to secure Swansea City’s Joe Allen, after a £12 million bid from Liverpool was rejected.
It is understood Swansea are now likely to demand that Liverpool meet a £15 million release clause in Allen's Liberty Stadium contract.
Allen’s entire career to date has been spent with City. He joined the youth set-up at the age of nine, and quickly made his way up through the ranks.
At the age of 16, Allen enjoyed his debut in the FAW Premier Cup away tie to local Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot Town.
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He signed his first professional contract in August 2007 at the age of 17; a three-year deal with Swansea.
The signing came just one week after he was called up to the Wales Under-21 squad, and days after he made his full debut against Walsall.
Allen told Swansea's official website: "It's what dreams are made of."
Allen started in the first round of the League Cup game in a 2–0 home win over Walsall, and was named man of the match for his performance.
In October 2008 Allen penned a one-month deal with Wrexham, enabling him to get more game time under his belt. The following year the player signed a new three-year contract to keep him at Swansea until 2012.
The club put a new contract on the table despite the fact his deal was not due to expire until the summer of 2010. His impressive breakthrough prompted the club to swoop to secure the player.
Allen told the club’s official website: "I love playing for the club and I believe there are exciting times ahead.
"My aim is to build on the foundations I made last season and try and establish myself as a regular in the match day squad and then the starting line-up."
In May 2010 the midfielder was forced to undergo an operation on his shoulder, after experiencing recurring problems after dislocating it as a youngster. He was back in action a month later.
In July 2011 it emerged Allen had caught the eye of Premier League clubs West Ham and Wigan, but he remained loyal to Swansea.
The following summer Swansea set their sights on tying the young star down to a new, long-term deal. In August 2011 manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed talks had reached a successful conclusion, with Allen penning a new four-year contract.
Rodgers said: "He has ability, intelligence and great maturity - he has that responsibility off the field and you know he will not do anything stupid.
"He is a player with a big future for Swansea and for Wales and I am delighted he has decided that this is the club where he can continue his development.”
In the months that followed Rodgers heaped more praise on the youngster, saying he believed he could make it to the very top of the game.
He told the South Wales Evening Post: "There's no question about it for me - he has got those qualities with the ball that you need.”
Allen also earned the respect of the late Gary Speed, who told Sky Sports: "Joe was excellent, and that was only his first start. He has been playing great for Swansea and he showed that he can play at the top level.”
Earlier this month Allen learned he had made the Team GB squad for the 2012 Olympics.
Days later new Swans boss Michael Laudrup made it clear he would not welcome interest in his best players, and said he was determined to keep Allen. "I want Joe to stay here because he is very important for the team,” he said.
Swansea reacted with anger to Liverpool’s £12m bid for Allen on Wednesday, insisting they are not in a position where they need to sell.