Swansea City targeting Bolton Wanderers midfielder Mark Davies
BOLTON Wanderers are likely to demand around £6 million before they agree to sell midfielder Mark Davies to Swansea City.
Swansea have refused to comment on reports that they have failed with a bid of more than £4 million for the 24-year-old playmaker.
But it is understood Bolton have snubbed an initial offer from Swansea and that they are holding out for something closer to £6 million for a player boss Owen Coyle compared to Paul Gascoigne last season.
Former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers was interested in Davies during his time in charge at the Liberty, and Michael Laudrup admitted last month that he is an admirer of the former Wolves man.
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But Swansea will have to pay a record-breaking fee if they are to land Davies, who appears to have been earmarked as the man to replace Joe Allen.
Chairman Huw Jenkins was reluctant to discuss the situation last night, but he admitted: “Mark Davies is a good young player who we have talked about for a number of months, but he is among a number of good young players who we have talked about.”
Swansea’s top men are to hold talks with Liverpool target Allen about his Liberty future this week.
And though Jenkins insists there has been no fresh contact from Anfield, it appears Swansea are already preparing for life after Allen by firming up their interest in Davies.
Bolton sources have suggested the Championship new boys may demand as much as £8 million for one of their star players, but in reality a significantly lower offer could clinch a deal.
Davies was linked with Liverpool earlier in the summer, and there are suggestions that he is looking to engineer a move away from the Reebok Stadium.
Davies was outstanding at times last season — he was even touted as a potential England international around Christmas — but his form since then has dipped somewhat.
Born in the West Midlands, he came through the ranks at Wolves and made a mark in the Molineux first team before joining Bolton for an initial £1 million in 2009.
That deal included a hefty sell-on clause, hence Bolton will be keen to squeeze every penny out of Swansea before letting Davies leave.
How the Allen situation unfolds is likely to dictate how much Swansea are prepared to splash out on their prime midfield target. Liverpool have offered £12.5 million plus a player on loan for Allen, but Swansea are not interested in any of the Reds’ fringe men and want more cash up front.
Laudrup this week claimed Allen is worth more than £20 million, although a clause in his contract states that Swansea must sell for £15 million if one of the big five offers that much.
“Nothing has changed as far as Joe Allen is concerned,” Jenkins said. “I am going to sit down with him and Michael and talk things through.”
Coyle, meantime, reckoned Davies produced his best pre-season performance as Wanderers saw off Tranmere on Tuesday night.
“I had a chat with Mark prior to the game and told him that he’d done all his fitness work, and even though these games are designed to get us ready for August 18, he’s got to start putting it together,” said the Scot.
“We’ve got a young team, loaded with pace, and I think it was important that we saw him take the game by the scruff of the neck. And he did.
“The important thing is that you are ready to peak on August 18, and I think that was Mark’s best game for a while.”