Swansea City set to hand Michu striker baton
SWANSEA City will ask Michu to carry the goalscoring baton right through until the end of the season after Danny Graham joined Sunderland in a £5 million deal.
Swansea were last night working hard to bolster their squad with a new striker after allowing Graham to go.
But it seems the onus will be on Michu, Swansea's 16-goal leading marksman, to keep on delivering through until the summer transfer window.
Swansea made deadline-day enquiries about Sevilla's attacking midfielder Manu, Manchester City striker John Guidetti and Queens Park Rangers forward Jamie Mackie.
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But with clubs demanding sizeable loan fees, Swansea were struggling to find a deal which they felt was reasonable.
Swansea were determined not to pay over the odds despite banking the second highest transfer fee received in their history after allowing Graham to go.
The 27-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light after making it clear to Swansea that he wanted to leave.
Graham has scored 21 goals in one and a half seasons at Swansea, including seven this term despite the fact that he has struggled for game-time since Brendan Rodgers left. But it is thought Michael Laudrup is not too concerned about losing Graham in a deal which he felt was decent business for a player who cost £3.5 million in 2011.
Sevilla star Manu, who has one Spanish cap, played for Laudrup when he was in charge at Getafe.
The former Atletico Madrid youngster scored 39 times in 157 La Liga games for Getafe before joining Sevilla in a 5 million euro deal in 2011.
The highly-rated Guidetti, 20, has just returned to fitness after nine months out with a knee problem. It is thought City were not keen to let him leave on loan after they sold Mario Balotelli.
Mackie, meantime, has dropped down the pecking order at QPR since Harry Redknapp took over.
Graham signed for Sunderland despite a late bid from former club Middlesbrough — and insisted he was only interested in joining the Black Cats once their interest became apparent.
"I was born and brought up in the North East, so I know the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world," said Newcastle fan Graham. "I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100 per cent no matter what team I've played for or who I've played against.
"It's up to me show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt, and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this."
Stories emerged earlier this week suggesting Graham wanted to quit Wales for unspecified "personal reasons", and he reiterated that claim as he said his goodbyes. "I'm sad to be leaving Swansea, but delighted to be joining Sunderland and moving back home to the North East for personal reasons," Graham said.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Swansea, but everyone moves on at some time in football.
"Obviously I would have liked more game-time this season, but that's the way it goes and I'm looking forward to the new challenge at Sunderland.
"I would like to think I played my part in Swansea's success so far in the Premier League, especially last season.
"I can only speak in a positive way about the club, especially the supporters and the players. They have been outstanding and I'd like to thank everyone for making my time so enjoyable.
"I believe that the club has a bright future. The boys have done very well since stepping up to the Premier League and it will only get even better for them."
Graham's sell-on clause means Swansea will pay Watford £225,000 of the £1.5 million they made on the striker.
Young winger Gwion Edwards also left Swansea yesterday, joining Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone on loan for the rest of the season.