Swansea turns down Potter approach
Championship side Swansea City has turned down an approach from Premier League Brighton for their current manager Graham Potter, according to reporting in the UK sports media.
Potter, who joined Swansea last summer, was installed as the short-priced favourite with sports betting companies to take over at the helm of the Seagulls following the south-coast club’s decision to sack Chris Hughton at the weekend. Many pundits criticised Hughton’s dismissal, given that he had secured a third consecutive season in the top flight for the club. However, having finished 15th last season, the Brighton hierarchy was reportedly unhappy with the apparent lack of progress in this campaign, which ended with the club one place above the relegation zone.
However, according to reports, Swansea has rejected an initial offer from Brighton. The club has refused to comment on the approach, and it is not clear whether Potter would be willing to leave south Wales, having spent just 11 months at the second-tier club. However, if Swansea does eventually accept Brighton’s overtures, the final decision will rest with Potter.
The 43-year-old, who has two years left to run on the three-year deal he signed last summer, has been widely praised for his work with Swansea. Having spent seven seasons managing Östersund in Sweden, he was a relative unknown when appointed last year, and he had a difficult task in taking over a club that had been relegated from the Premier League. Some senior players were moved on, and Potter successfully introduced several youngsters into the first team.
Although it took a while for his changes to take effect, the Swansea team improved throughout the 2018-19 campaign and still had a chance of grabbing a playoff spot until the final week of the season.
Potter was also praised for re-establishing the possession-based game that had been a hallmark of Swansea’s progress from the bottom tier of English football to the Premier League. The progress made under Potter has turned Swansea into realistic promotion candidates for next season, and Swansea fans will be concerned at the suggestion that he might leave.
However, they will hope that Potter offers the same response as he did last month when Celtic was rumoured to be interested in appointing him. At that time, he said that he was focusing on preparing Swansea for next season. Whether he can resist the lure of instant Premier League football remains to be seen.
Words: Jonah Farrell