Swansea’s Paul Clement tips Fernando Llorente to stay and plans new signings

Swansea player Fernando Llorente celebrates his and the winning goal during the Premier League match between Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion at Liberty Stadium on May 21, 2017 in...

Paul Clement is confident Fernando Llorente will remain a Swansea City player and not follow Gylfi Sigurdsson out of the door.

The Iceland midfielder is set to join Everton, with the clubs finally edging closer to reaching an agreement, and there has been persistent speculation linking Llorente with Chelsea, who were interested in signing the striker in January. Clement, however, firmly believes Llorente will stay put.

“He’s got a year to go on his deal and we’d like him to stay for this year and longer,” said the Swansea manager, who will be without the Spaniard for at least the first two matches of the season after the forward broke an arm in a cycling accident in the close-season.

“He’s a really good player and it’s a shame with the injury he got in the summer – it’s a freak one. He did finish off the season strongly. His goals were vital and we want to have him as an option. When he’s fit, to have him, Tammy [Abraham] and Jordan [Ayew] available is a good thing for me.”

Asked why he is so sure Llorente, who scored 15 league goals for Swansea last season, would remain at the Liberty Stadium, Clement said: “I’m confident 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. I’m confident he will be here.”

Clement believes Llorente and Abraham, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea, could play together up front – they are both 6ft 4in – although that partnership will not be seen for at least a couple of weeks because of the Spaniard’s injury problem.

“It would be interesting to see those two come up against two centre-halves,” Clement said. “Tammy likes to play off the last shoulder and get in behind. We’re working on him going the other way a little bit more and getting him more involved in the build-up play. But I think that would potentially be a good partnership.”

As for Sigurdsson, Clement expects a replacement or two – Wilfried Bony and Nacer Chadli are on the club’s shortlist – to arrive swiftly once a fee with Everton is agreed.

“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,” Clement said. “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.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart James, for The Guardian on Thursday 10th August 2017 22.30 Europe/London

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