'Loans and frees' are Swansea City's signing targets

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
Steve Cooper
Swansea manager Steve Cooper is targeting attacking talent ahead of the 2019-20 season

Swansea City are unlikely to pay any transfer fees this summer, but they are hoping to make a handful of signings.

New boss Steve Cooper's one recruit to date, Jake Bidwell, joined on a free transfer.

Swansea are chasing two forward players and a centre-back, but have little money to spend following relegation from the Premier League in 2018.

"It would be loans and frees, that's the market we're looking at," said chairman Trevor Birch.

"If it's a small transfer fee then possibly, but that's where we are. That's our current financial position."

Former England Under-17s coach Cooper is targeting attacking players as Swansea look to make up for the loss of Daniel James, who has joined Manchester United.

The Championship club are also short in central defence after loan signing Cameron Carter-Vickers returned to Tottenham Hotspur.

Having sold James, Swansea are desperate to keep hold of their various other promising young players, among them striker Oli McBurnie.

The Scotland international has attracted interest from Sheffield United, but Swansea do not want to lose him.

'Knockout offer'

"We will try to keep hold of key players, those players who we all know are going to be key," Birch told a fans' forum.

"That's something I am going to try to achieve.

"There may be a knockout offer that the club can't refuse - that's the same for any club - but we haven't had that yet.

"Hopefully we can keep what we have intact and then build in the one or two areas where we need to strengthen."

Swansea are keen to offload a number of higher earners, with Jordan Ayew likely to be the first out as he closes in on a move to Crystal Palace.

Andre Ayew, Borja and Jefferson Montero are others who Swansea are keen to see depart.

However, Birch insisted the club's hopes of keeping the likes of McBurnie and Matt Grimes do not rest on Borja, Montero and the two Ayews departing.

"We don't need to sell (others) if we can't move them on, but I am extremely hopeful that we can do that because it would make life a lot easier," Birch said.

"I won't say we will accept zero transfer (fees for them), but obviously the main thing for us is to get those wages off the payroll because they are significant and they make a significant difference to the financial performance of the club."

Control over day-to-day business

Birch added that Swansea's American owners have given him control over the club's day-to-day business.

"They are leaving me alone," he said. "They have given me complete autonomy to run the club.

"They are probably hoping we return to some success. The only way they will have a return is by getting this club promoted back to the Premier League."

Birch told a group of around 200 fans that Swansea are close to appointing a new head of recruitment.

It was also revealed that Swansea have sold just over 12,000 season tickets for the 2019-20 campaign, which is around 3,000 down on last term.