Today's media round-up
18th April 2013
Today's round-up includes interviews with Michael Laudrup and John Hartson, while the future of Jonathan de Guzman is also discussed.
Laudrup has spoken of the need for his side to tighten up defensively while the Great Dane has also commented on next season's Welsh derby in the Premier League.
Wales international Hartson also gives his views on the two derby matches while it has been reported Villarreal will accept a cut-price deal for current Swans loanee de Guzman.
South Wales Evening Post
Laudrup urges Swans to tighten up in bid for the top ten
Michael Laudrup has told Swansea City they must sharpen up defensively to win their battle for a top-ten finish in the Premier League.
Laudrup is billing Saturday's meeting with Southampton as a key fixture for Swansea as they bid to end their season in style.
And the Swansea manager admits his team need to build from the back against the in-form Saints.
Laudrup's men have been uncharacteristically loose in recent weeks, letting in two goals a game since their last clean sheet came against Newcastle in early March.
"We have conceded too many," Laudrup said.
"We have played against Arsenal and Tottenham, and when you play sides like that it can happen because of the individual quality they have.
"But even in the other games (against West Brom and Norwich), we have conceded too many goals.
"Eight goals in four games is too much. I have been pleased with the overall performances we have produced in all our games since the cup final, but we have conceded too easily in that period."
Swans receive de Guzman signing boost
Villarreal - currently fighting for promotion back to La Liga - are ready to cut their losses and accept £2m lower.
Swansea City's hopes of landing Jonathan de Guzman on a permanent basis have been given a boost with Villarreal ready to lower their asking price for the Holland star.
De Guzman has proven a midfield hit for the Swans since arriving on loan from Spanish outfit Villarreal last summer. But manager Michael Laudrup recently admitted he was unsure whether he would be able to make the 25-year-old's stay in South Wales full-time with the Castellon outfit wanting to recoup the £7m they paid Mallorca for him two summers ago.
But now there are suggestions that Villarreal - currently fighting for promotion back to La Liga - are ready to cut their losses and accept £2m lower.
Swansea had surprised Villarreal with their stance when they made contact in January about turning the playmaker's year-long spell into a permanent one.
Despite his big impression in his Premier League bow - his five goals and six assists earning the Canadian-born talent his breakthrough into the Dutch side - Swansea balked at the £7m tag.
There had been suggestions the Swans would accept a second loan agreement, with Villarreal unsure of whether they will be back among the Spanish elite next year.
But now it seems as if they will take a cut-price £5m with the player himself stating he wants to stay at the club having helped book Europa League football next term thanks to his goal in the 5-0 Capital One Cup triumph over Bradford.
Derbies against Cardiff will be like Rome says Laudrup
Michael Laudrup believes that Swansea's Premier League clashes with Cardiff next season will feel just like Rome.
The two great Welsh rivals, who haven't clashed since February 2011, will renew hostilities - and meet for the first time ever in the top division - next season after Malky Mackay's men clinched promotion from the Championship on Tuesday.
Swansea boss Laudrup reckons the atmosphere when they meet will be just as intense as the red-hot welcome he received as a player for Lazio against Roma in Italy.
The Great Dane, who also played in Spain's El Clasico, has never managed in a British derby and admits he cannot wait for the double-header between his League Cup winners and the Bluebirds.
Laudrup said: "I know the Swansea and Cardiff derby is something everyone is looking forward to.
"I have tried some heavy ones when I was a player.
"If you talk about games in the same area, I played for Lazio against Roma in Rome. That was a really heavy one.
"Juventus v Torino in Turin was a little less.
"I also played in the Real Madrid and Barcelona games, but that is a different type of one. There are 400 miles between the two clubs - it's like Liverpool and Manchester United here where those games are more about the history and tradition and all that.
"If you look at the same area, like Cardiff and Swansea, then I think it is more like Lazio and Roma."
Cardiff should be proud, but catching Swans will be a tough task' - Hartson
John Hartson has insisted the South Wales derby will feel right at home in the Barclays Premier League.
"This has been a great year for Welsh football in general," said Hartson.
"There's been a turnaround in results for the national team under Chris Coleman, Newport are closer to getting back in the Football League than ever before and Wrexham up there with them and having already won at Wembley in the FA Trophy.
"And what Swansea and Cardiff have done tops it all. Both been at the top but they have never been there together and everybody can start looking forward to the derbies.
"It's great to see them back, although you do hope it's treated in the right manner after some of the scenes at Wembley and Newcastle last weekend. We don't want anything to undermine all the good things going on with both clubs.
"But, on the pitch, it's a fierce derby which deserves to be in the Premier League in terms of the intensity. It's great for Welsh football that it's on this stage because it wasn't so long ago it was being played in the bottom division."