Belfast Telegraph

Monk: Bony deal can spur us on

Swansea expect star striker Wilfried Bony to extend his contract until 2018 - and manager Garry Monk hopes it could even be done before the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.

Bony revealed on Thursday that he is close to signing a one-year extension on his current deal at the Liberty Stadium and that would be a huge boost for a Swansea side who have started the season well and lie sixth in the Barclays Premier League.

The Ivorian scored 25 goals in all competitions last season following his club record £12million move from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem and after a slow start this term has scored four times in as many league appearances.

"Hopefully it will be agreed before the weekend and done before the game," Monk said of Bony's contract extension at his press conference ahead of the Arsenal match.

"That would be nice, but you've got to go through the legal procedures to check everything's in place.

"I've had a great relationship with Wilfried and spoke to him a lot in the summer, I know how committed he is as a person and as a professional.

"He enjoys his time at Swansea and this contract is a symbol of how much he enjoys being here and how committed he is to the club.

"It's a big signing for the club and the player himself but also for his team-mates, and hopefully it will be a big boost to everyone."

Bony has been strongly linked with some of the Premier League's biggest clubs since settling so well into English football and scoring twice at the World Cup for the Ivory Coast.

Liverpool and Sunday's Liberty visitors Arsenal were reported to have considered bids for the 25-year-old powerhouse last summer but Bony was still at Swansea when the new season got under way.

"You're always going to see a lot of speculation about a player like that," Monk said.

"But it's nice to see such a good player and a big character in the changing rooms commit to the club.

"I think he deserves it, it's something he wanted himself and through negotiations we've come to an agreement with the player.

"He's been very good for us as he's scored a lot of goals but more than that he contributes to the group.

"He's a strong character and leader within the group and the more people you have like that in your squad the better for everyone.

"I'm sure Wilfried will be linked again in the transfer window - but my focus is on keeping the best players at the club."

Monk, though, is unsure whether another striker, Michu, will be returning to Swansea as early as January following reports in Italy that the Napoli loan signing was surplus to requirements at the Serie A club.

Michu, who scored 22 goals in his first campaign at Swansea before suffering an injury-hit season last term, has managed only three starts and five appearances for Napoli and failed to either complete 90 minutes or score for Rafael Benitez's side.

The 28-year-old has now been ruled out for the next fortnight with a recurrence of the ankle problem that plagued him at Swansea but Monk says the player's position is unclear.

"I'm not sure contractually whether we could bring him back and we'd have to check fine lines before dealing with something like that," Monk said.

"I've not spoken to him recently but we'll see what the situation is and assess it from there."

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