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Paul Clement fears Swansea City’s hunt for reinforcements could go down to deadline day

The Swans boss also wants the summer transfer window to shut before the season starts

Paul Clement fears Swansea City’s search for further additions could go all the way to deadline day, and has called on the transfer window to be shut before the season starts.

The Swans head coach saw his side cling on for a hard-earned point at Southampton in their opening Premier League fixture, with the void left by the absence of Gylfi Sigurdsson in the final third clear to see.

The Iceland international was left out of the matchday squad again as his protracted transfer to Everton drags on, although Clement did say at St Mary’s he felt the deal was “close”.

However, such sentiments have been expressed by many parties over the last month and yet Sigurdsson remains on the Swansea payroll.

As long as he does, Swansea find themselves stymied in their desire to strengthen Clement’s squad, although the performance at Southampton will surely have added a sense of urgency to resolving the saga and getting on with the task of bringing in new faces.

Clement has insisted there is money to spend regardless, but that the targets Swansea want to bring in will be altered by whether they have Sigurdsson or not, leaving them to play a frustrating waiting game.

And the 45-year-old admits the hunt to bring in new faces – with Wilfried Bony, Nacer Chadli and Joe Allen among those being pursued – could go right down to the wire, and outcome he and the Swans hierarchy had made clear they wanted to avoid.

“For me, I want players in as soon as possible but the reality is it could go to the last day in terms of ‘ins’,” he said.

“But we want the time to be able to do the negotiating, and if it is on the last day it is hard to do it or you pay way over the amount, and we don’t want to do that either.

“We’ve identified targets, but you don’t know if you can get the first choice on your list.”

With Sigurdsson, Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho sitting out their sides opening Premier League fixtures amid transfer speculation, several pundits were quick to point out how poorly it reflected on the top-flight that such quality players were not in action.

And Clement has revealed the majority of Premier League bosses have voiced their opinion that the summer window should close before the season starts, with several making a case for a future change during the pre-season meeting between managers of the 20 clubs.

“It is frustrating here and I am sure Southampton and Liverpool are frustrated too. That’s why the window needs to close before the season starts so you can get on with football,” he said.

“Our club would support that decision. In our managers’ meeting at the Premier League last week we spoke about it, it was discussed and I think the majority of clubs are in favour of it.

“I think we all have to be in favour of it for it to go through.”

 

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