Fernando Llorente: Striker will stay at Swansea City, says boss Paul Clement

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Paul Clement (left) with Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente, pictured with Paul Clement, has won 24 caps for Spain, scoring seven goals

Swansea City head coach Paul Clement believes striker Fernando Llorente will stay at the club.

Chelsea have a long-standing interest in the 32-year-old, who scored 15 goals to help Swansea avoid Premier League relegation last season.

Llorente, who joined the Swans from Sevilla in 2016, is currently sidelined with a fractured arm.

"He has got a year to go on his deal and we'd like him to stay for this year and longer," said Clement.

"I'm confident he will because of the conversations I've had with Fernando.

"He's happy here, he likes the work we're doing, and he likes the way we play.

"He's a really good player and it's a shame with the injury he got in the summer.

"It's a freak one and he did finish off the season strongly.

"His goals were vital and we want to have him as an option."

Should Chelsea's interest in Llorente manifest itself in a formal offer, Swansea have several transfer targets - such as their former striker Wilfried Bony - lined up as potential replacements.

But their fresh interest in Wales midfielder Joe Allen has been rebuffed by Stoke City.

Clement says the same is true for midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is "close" to completing his protracted move to Everton according to Toffees manager Ronald Koeman.

Sigurdsson has not played for Swansea since their first pre-season friendly at Barnet on 12 July.

The 27-year-old pulled out of the club's tour to the United States and, although he has since taken a full part in training, he will not be involved in the Swans' Premier League opener at Southampton on Saturday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Swansea have rejected bids from Leicester and Everton for Gylfi Sigurdsson

"That is a frustrating situation, I can't say that it's not," said Clement.

"I've got a really good player but it's been decided that it's in the best interests of everyone that he doesn't play in this first game.

"It's not an ideal situation. We're in a period of limbo with a very good player. It's what I've said all along - we want to try to get a resolution to the situation, and everyone wants that."

If Sigurdsson finally joins Everton, Clement says Swansea have deals in place to sign replacements.

"I'm as confident as I can be from my talks with the owners and the chairman that if this goes through, that we're ready to go," he added.

"But what you can't do is control the decision-making of the other club.

"We've got a good idea of what players are going to cost. So we're as ready as we can be.

"We have balanced things up with outs and ins. The Gylfi situation is a crucial part of the business we could potentially do because it is going to be a high fee if he goes.

"The highest fee this club has ever seen, so it is really important this is seen as part of what we are going to do in terms of future ins."

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