Chico signs new Swans deal
Swansea City have received a major boost ahead of today's Barclays Premier League clash at Norwich with the news that Chico Flores has signed a new contract with the club.
The charismatic Spaniard, who has become something of a cult hero at the Liberty Stadium with his passionate and whole-hearted displays, has signed a one-year extension that will keep him at the club until June 2016.
Although the central defender still had another two years to run on his current deal, the club were keen to tie the 26-year-old down for a longer spell after impressing in his debut Premier League campaign.
Chico is one of a host of senior players to commit their long-term future to the Swans after Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, Leon Britton, Michu, David Cornell, Wayne Routledge, Garry Monk, Angel Rangel, Gerhard Tremmel, Jazz Richards and Ben Davies all signed new deals this season to maintain the continuity at the Liberty.
"I'm very happy," beamed Chico. "Everything has gone better than I ever expected considering I only arrived in Wales in the summer.
"I have found it easier to settle here than when I moved from Spain to Italy.
"The language issue can still be difficult at times, but I'm getting there. My English is improving all the time and I have good communication on the pitch alongside Ash (Ashley Williams), who can also speak a bit of Spanish.
"In my debut season the club has won its first major trophy and is safe again for another year in the Premier League.
"It's been a fantastic experience and a massive achievement for the club, both individually and collectively.
"I had no hesitation in signing a new contract for a number of reasons, but mainly because I can only see the team and the club growing.
"We play good football, which I think suits me, and the warmth of the fans towards me has been unbelievable. To hear them singing my name is amazing; phenomenal. I love them all.
"If you put all that together, everything is perfect, and I hope to stay at Swansea for a long, long time."
Swans boss Michael Laudrup, who managed Chico at La Liga outfit Mallorca, was reunited with the former Spanish Under-21 defender in the summer after paying Genoa £2million for his services.
Chico's career started as a youth player with hometown club Cádiz CF in 2005. He also spent loan spells at Racing Club Portuense and Barcelona B, helping the Catalans gain promotion to level three.
The defender then signed with Cádiz neighbours Unión Deportiva Almería to help the club maintain its top flight status in La Liga, before signing a five-year contract for Genoa in Italy for €4 million in July 2010.
A year later he agreed a one-year loan deal with RCD Mallorca where he teamed up with Laudrup, making 33 appearances, before joining the Swans.