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Michael Duff: Swans must get the right characters to compliment what we have 

New Swansea City head-coach Michael Duff believes that his side must be diligent in the transfer market this summer to complement what he feels is a good base of footballers at the club.

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Under no illusions that he will have to add to an already thinning squad, the Northern Irishman will be no doubt keen to stamp his mark in the transfer market in the coming weeks.  

Having seen last season’s player of the year Ryan Manning depart along with fellow wing-back Joel Latibeaudiere, with both players’ contracts expiring, the Swans, with only a month left till the start of the season, lack sufficient depth in key areas. 

With continued doubts over star striker Joel Piroe’s future, himself having just 12 months remaining on his current deal, it could prove to be a busy time for new sporting director Paul Watson and chairman Andy Coleman in working with Duff to recruit new faces to South-Wales. 

“We do need to add, there is no doubt about that but in terms of numbers and positions, I’m not pigeon-holed into a formation yet. It will depend on who we can get and being adaptable and flexible in terms of how we play,” explained Duff. 

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“It’s getting good players in the building, as many as we can without bankrupting the club. There has to be a balance. 

“I’m under no illusions that I was going to come in and there would be an open cheque book. There will be funds available, but we have to spend diligently and get the right character and player to complement what we already have. 

“I’m a firm believer in looking at what you have got and not what you haven’t. Me, Paul [Watson] and Andy [Coleman] will come together and talk about areas we are weak in. If we can’t afford someone, we look for the next best one to get value for money.  

“I have come in with my eyes wide open, I understand the history and frustrations from other managers but that is done and gone and nothing to do with me. I’m not looking back, just forwards. 

“We need everyone pulling in the same direction from the board to the staff to the players to the supporters. Unless you get that you have no chance of achieving anything.” 

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One player who looks to be arriving in SA1 is 26-year-old Hearts attacker Josh Ginnelly. A wide player with pace and skill will arrive for a medical this week at the clubs Fairwood training base to become 45-year-old Duff’s first signing. 

A player known by Duff from the youth ranks at Burnley, Ginnelly has contributed 22 goals in 89 appearances for the Tynecastle-based club since a move from Preston North End in 2020. The Swans are understood to have beaten off a host of Championship clubs for his signature. 

“He is coming in for a medical next week. In terms of his profile, he offers something a little bit different. I knew him as a young boy, as a 17-year-old. It didn’t quite work out for him there,” continued Duff. 

“He has fire and something to prove at this level. He has been at Championship clubs but feels he hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip. In terms of being a free transfer, we think it is good value and something different. We are trying to complement what we already have.” 

With speculation rife over further incomings and outgoings this week it remains to be seen whether Everton forward Ellis Simms will be in a Swans shirt next season, with Duff having no comment on the possibility of a deal. As for Piroe, it will be business as usual for the Dutchman in preparation for the new season with the Swans leading scorer for the last two seasons firmly in his manager’s plans. 

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“There is only talk about the big players, but we have other players in the squad that there will be bids for. Everyone has a price and if we think it’s right for the football club and will help move us forward that’s what we will do,” explained Duff. 

“It depends on what bids come in. Football is a business; we all live in a World where there is a food chain. If someone bids the right price, then that isn’t my decision – I’m the head-coach. There is a sporting director and a board. It is not that I won’t have an input into it, but it is a business at the end of the day.  

“Am I expecting bids, probably. If they are the right bids, they will go, if not they will still be here. That is just the nature of the beast. 

“I have plans for every scenario. Football isn’t ABC, there are sliding doors moments where if someone left Leicester, Southampton, or one of the relegated teams, they have £50 million burning around in their pockets. There is always a knock-on effect.  

“I had a good conversation with Joel [Piroe] yesterday and he was asking about detail in terms of what I want from him until anything changes, we will keep on having those conversations. If he goes, he goes if he doesn’t, he doesn’t, it’s nothing personal, it is football.  

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“There will be a plan in place for him in terms of the way we play and plans if he goes. That is not just for Joel. I understand he is a big name and in the last 12 months of his contract. It’s probably not worth spending that much time on though it unless something happens.” 

(Lead Image: Swansea City)

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