Swansea City players have urged Danny Graham to stay, reveals Ashley Williams
ASHLEY Williams has revealed that the Swansea City squad have urged Danny Graham to stay at the Liberty — but insists they will respect whatever decision the striker makes.
Speculation over Graham's future continues, with Norwich manager Chris Hughton confirming over the weekend that the Canaries have made a bid for him.
Sunderland have also tabled an offer for the former Watford man.
The Black Cats are the favourites to sign Graham, and yesterday sold forward Fraizer Campbell to Cardiff, possibly paving the way to move for the Swansea man.
But bookmakers yesterday slashed the odds on Graham joining Newcastle United — the team he supported as a boy — after a flurry of bets.
The £3.5 million frontman has been used less frequently this season, largely because of Michu's sensational form.
Graham spoke of his desire to play regular football earlier this month.
And his team-mates have made their feelings on talk of his departure crystal clear.
"We've just been saying to him two minutes ago in the changing room that we want him to stay, saying 'don't go'," said Williams, who was speaking after last Saturday's 3-1 win over Stoke.
"We all want him to stay, he is a top player and has done well here. We definitely don't want to see him leave and I think if you asked any player here they would stay the same thing.
"We want him here. He is going to make the decision on whether he stays or goes. He has to make the right decision for himself and his family and his situation.
"Obviously we are telling him we want him to stay, but it is his decision whether he stays or goes and we will back him whatever he chooses."
Graham underlined his quality again last weekend with a wonderful touch to set up Jonathan de Guzman for Swansea's third goal against the Potters.
The 27-year-old received the ball from Wayne Routledge and played a first-time cushioned pass to de Guzman who finished past Asmir Begovic.
"It was a great touch by Danny — unbelievable, superb vision. That just shows the quality he possesses," said Williams.
"I was surprised that Stoke sat back so much, right in their own box some of the time, and that shocked us a bit.
"That gave us the incentive to get on the front foot.
"They are an established Premier League team, no doubt about that, and it is a mark of respect I think that when they came to our ground their first thought was to protect their goal. Fair enough. It shows how far we have come."
Stoke's visit came between two knockout games. Swansea lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup last Wednesday and face a Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea tomorrow.
But Williams stresses they can't afford to neglect the Premier League.
"We are doing really well at the moment and the important thing is that we continue that," he added.
"We know there will be a bumpy patch at some point so we have to work hard to get as many points on the board as possible.
"We are doing well in the cup which is pleasing and now can concentrate on that again.
"But it was important that we kept our focus against Stoke because that was a massive three points for us — they are just below us in the table.
"Chelsea is such a big game for us as individuals and as a club.
"We went up there, did really well and we have set ourselves up nicely. We know the job is not done and it will be as tough here as it was up there."
Meanwhile, Swansea have been linked with Birmingham starlet Nathan Redmond.