SWANSEA CITY have issued a statement confirming Liverpool’s interest in Joe Allen and expressing their disappointment that details of his contract have been released to the media “by parties outside the club”. Various outlets have reported that Allen has a clause in his contract, signed a year ago, allowing him to leave should a bid of £15m be lodged with the Welsh club.
Although Liverpool had confirmed their interest in signing the player, they would not confirm if any official approach had been made to Swansea for Allen to team up at Anfield with former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers. Swansea statement adds their own confirmation of Liverpool’s interest alongside a claim that there has also been interest “from other clubs”. Allen is currently with the Team GB Olympic squad.
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins told radio the week Rodgers left for Anfield that Swansea had “got some protection on Brendan coming back for [Swansea] players in the initial period”, by which he went on to say he meant 12 months, but he didn’t actually go into details of what exactly that protection consisted of. Today’s statement says there was “a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any [Swansea] players within the 12-month period of former manager Brendan Rodgers leaving for Anfield.”
Of course clubs are not supposed to approach players of any other club without permission from that club anyway – not that it means that never happens – so on the face of it the agreement only asks Liverpool to follow existing rules on player approaches. If so it would seem Liverpool and Rodgers have not broken that agreement if their only approach has been directly to Swansea.
Some reports suggested Liverpool had enquired about taking Allen for £10m plus the loan of Jonjo Shelvey, with Swansea holding firm on the £15m figure said to be in his contract. Today’s statement suggests the two clubs are no nearer coming to a compromise.
Swansea statement in full:
Statement regarding speculation on Swans midfielder Joe Allen
A Swansea City spokesman said: “Swansea City can confirm that Liverpool have expressed an interest in Joe Allen, despite a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any players within the 12-month period of former manager Brendan Rodgers leaving for Anfield.
“There has also been interest from other clubs regarding his possible availability and the club is due to speak to Joe, as originally planned, about the situation when he returns from GB duty.
“The club is not prepared to release any details on whether any formal bids have been made at this stage or details of Joe’s contract, which are private and confidential. The club is extremely disappointed that speculation regarding certain aspects of his contract have been released to the media by parties outside the club.
“Fortunately the club is in a financial position where it does not need to sell any of its players and will continue to work in the best interests of its supporters, who are our priority, and the club to provide new manager Michael Laudrup with the best opportunity to be successful in the forthcoming Premier League campaign.”
* Liverpool play Roma at the home of the Boston Red Sox tonight, kick-off at Fenway Park is 11.30pm UK time with the game being shown live on ESPN.