Belfast Telegraph

Jordan Ayew on brink of joining Swansea from Aston Villa

Swansea are set to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Ayew with defender Neil Taylor moving in the opposite direction.

The deal will also see Villa receive a fee which could rise up to £5million, Press Association Sport understands.

"It is not done yet, but it is close to being done," Swansea manager Paul Clement said of the swap deal.

"Neil has been a great servant to this club, but I feel it is the right time for a new challenge for him and he would like to take it."

Wales full-back Taylor joined from Wrexham in the summer of 2010 and was part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League the following year.

The 27-year-old made nearly 180 appearances for Swansea and helped Wales reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Ayew was linked with Swansea last season when his brother, Andre, was at the Liberty Stadium before joining West Ham in a record £20.5million move.

The 25-year-old is currently away with Ghana at the African Nations Cup in Gabon b ut Swansea can complete the deal as Ayew recently completed a medical with the Football Association for insurance purposes.

Clement said: "We brought (Martin) Olsson in from Norwich so we had three left-backs and I only need two.

"And we get a young offensive talent who will add to what we have.

"Ayew can play wide or through the middle and I like that versatility."

Swansea's attempt to add a central defender to their squad, however, seems to be over.

There was interest in taking Benfica's Argentina defender Lisandro Lopez on loan, but that potential deal will not happen.

"I have four centre-backs and I would say they are the four we will continue with," Clement said.

"Lopez coming in is not going to happen.

"We were interested, but it did not go further than that.

"Things change, but my feeling at this point is that when the Ayew deal is done that will be it. I am confident we are wrapped up on everything."

Clement is grateful for that with Swansea hosting Southampton in the Premier League in the final hours of the January transfer window on Tuesday night.

Swansea climbed out of the bottom three by winning 3-2 at Liverpool in their last game and will be seeking to build on that shock Anfield triumph.

"It's not ideal to play on this night - you have to confirm your squad for the game and people can come in and go out at short notice - but we are fully focused on the game," Clement said.

"We cannot waste what we did at Liverpool, these are the games we have to do well in.

"We have to be better at home. Away results, especially against the big sides, are bonuses.

"Our home form must be far more consistent."

Southampton are placed in 11th place and nine points better off than Swansea.

But with the distraction of an EFL Cup final against Manchester United at the end of February, Clement feels that the Saints can not be complacent about the relegation battle below them.

"They did very well at Liverpool (in the EFL Cup semi-final) but no-one around us are too good to get dragged in," Clement said.

"it is about finding consistency of performance."

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