Having been unable to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson in the summer, Swansea City will have known the dangers of only taking a player on loan better than most clubs when they signed Jonathan De Guzman for the season from Villarreal. Whilst they are keen for the player to impress during his spell in Wales, they are aware that in doing so De Guzman has attracted interest from plenty of other clubs.
The situation this summer should be different that with Sigurdsson however, as their manager should still be in charge come next season, and Swansea can now offer Europa League football to any new recruits. Their pursuit of De Guzman could end up being a telling indication of how far they have progressed under Laudrup, and if there is one player who will want to continue to play under the Dane, it is De Guzman.
This year was his second spell playing for Laudrup, who also signed him for Mallorca, and De Guzman has enjoyed an excellent season that even saw him earn a first international cap for the Netherlands. It would be very surprising indeed if De Guzman did not want to continue to play for a manager who has helped develop him so much.
However as with most things in football nowadays, money will play a large part in deciding whether De Guzman makes a permanent move to Swansea. Villarreal are reportedly demanding around £7 million for the player, and if other teams do start making offers to the Spanish club, that figure could rise further.
Swansea showed last summer that they are shrewd operators in the transfer market, and a fee of £7 million for a proven player would still be a fine piece of business. Even with expansions to their stadium on the horizon, the extra income from Premiership TV rights and indeed the Europa League next season should mean they are able to strengthen in the summer.
Signing De Guzman would be a statement of intent from the club, that they are backing their manager and that they have moved on from last summer, when Sigurdsson ended up moving elsewhere after an impressive loan spell in Wales. If the Dutch player is the first move in a similarly successful summer to last year, with Laudrup at the helm, Swansea could find themselves competing for plenty more silverware next season.
It's clear De Guzman would like to stay at Swansea and they want to keep him, but how much will he cost?