Swansea wanted Aspas but would not have got Bony
MICHAEL Laudrup has admitted for the first time that he wanted Iago Aspas this summer — and revealed Wilfried Bony would have been out of reach had he got his man.
Aspas is set to appear at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night as part of the Liverpool side who are currently top of the Premier League.
But he might already have turned out in SA1 had Laudrup's transfer work gone to plan. The Swansea City boss was on Aspas's trail as early as last January and was optimistic that a deal could be done at the end of last season.
It is believed Laudrup held talks with Aspas and was confident he would sign, only for Liverpool to snatch the Celta Vigo forward from under Swansea's noses.
"Liverpool is a huge club, so I can't really blame him," Laudrup said.
"I have been in football too many years to have thought we'd got him before he had signed. But yes, he was one of the players we looked at, and in the end Liverpool came in.
"If we had got him he would have been the only one (rather than as well as Bony) because of the money involved."
Aspas joined Liverpool for an initial fee of around £7.2 million and, though he has not yet scored for the Reds, Laudrup expects him to thrive at Anfield.
"He is fast, he is a goalscorer, he has good football intelligence, good movement and he is two-footed, so I think he will do well there," the Dane added.
"Especially the way Liverpool play, with no real wide players and all the forwards coming through the middle, I think that will suit him.
"Did we agree a fee for him? He has gone to Liverpool, so let's leave it at that."
Bony is one of a handful of Swansea players who has returned unscathed following a stint of international duty this week.
Nathan Dyer is back in contention after a hamstring problem, but Neil Taylor (thigh) remains out while Laudrup also reported "one and a half" other worries ahead of Liverpool's visit.
Jonjo Shelvey is fully fit after missing out on England Under-21 duty with a minor knee problem — and Laudrup has paid tribute to the midfielder as he prepares to face his former club.
Laudrup signed Shelvey in a deal worth an initial £5 million in the summer as the one-cap England man opted to quit Anfield in search of regular first-team football.
"Jonjo has made a very good impact — from the first moment he arrived his attitude has been good," Laudrup said.
"But this is just the start for him.
"He is still a young player, but he is a big talent.
"I was a little surprised Liverpool sold him because is an English player with talent, and everybody knows how expensive they can be.
"But it's good for us that they decided he could leave."