Paul Clement has expressed interest in signing Chelsea captain John Terry this summer – if Swansea stay in the Premier League.
Clement knows Terry well from their time at Stamford Bridge together, with the Swansea head coach being Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant when Chelsea won a league and cup double in 2009-10.
And Clement has responded to Terry’s announcement that he is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season by admitting he would love to bring the 36-year-old to south Wales.
Clement made an approach to Terry’s former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard in January before the former England midfielder announced his retirement.
But Clement accepts the only chance Swansea have of signing Terry is if they escape the bottom three in the Premier League, a mission which continues with Saturday’s home game against Stoke.
“If we stay up why wouldn’t we be interested?” head coach Clement said at his pre-match press conference.
“I know John very well as a player and a person and I would be more than happy to speak to him.
“That is not something I have thought about at this point, we have to focus on the players and games we have got.
“When the season finishes we can have those discussions about our own players and potential targets.
“But having worked with John, I know what a fantastic player he is and what a career he has had.
“He has unbelievable talent and he is a fantastic leader – one of a dying breed of leaders.
“He has represented that club so well over so many years in a time when players are too quick to move on and go from club to club.
“He’s spent virtually his whole life playing there and congratulations to him for such an amazing career.”
Swansea have had a difficult campaign with Clement representing their third manager of the season following the dismissals of Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley.
They have spent much of the season in the relegation zone and, after an initial bounce following Clement’s appointment in January, they fell back in to the bottom three following the 3-1 home defeat to Tottenham two weeks ago.
Much of Swansea’s problems have been put down to a lack of leadership, with the pre-season sale of skipper Ashley Williams to Everton being highlighted.
“Without talking about John particularly, I have spoken to people who have worked at this club and the playing staff (about leadership),” Clement said.
“Ashley Williams was a big character like that in this dressing room. He is spoken of very well here, not only in terms of his ability as a player but also a leader in the dressing room. Perhaps the side have missed that.
“But it is not down to one player. There are individuals who have played at a good level a long time and have experience.
“They can step up to the mark more than they have, but the responsibility is on everyone here to do better than they have been doing.”
Swansea will be again without skipper Jack Cork (ankle) for the visit of Stoke, while Wayne Routledge has joined the casualty list with a hernia problem.
But Clement hopes Routledge, who recently broke Swansea’s appearances record in the Premier League, will play again this season.
“Wayne has been training but he is unavailable with a small hernia problem,” Clement said.
“He has been to see a specialist and we are waiting on that.
“He is an experienced and good player and has contributed a lot. It is disappointing.”