Swansea City are expecting an official approach from Brighton for manager Graham Potter today and fear he would like to join the Premier League club.
Brighton owner Tony Bloom has let it be known that Potter is his first choice to replace Chris Hughton, who was sacked after the Seagulls’ nose-dived into a desperate relegation struggle for the second half of the season.
Bloom has also briefed the media that Potter is interested in taking the job – suggesting the Swans boss has already been sounded out and would welcome the opportunity to move up a level, even though he is only 11 months into his job in the Championship.
That approach to their manager – whether directly or through an intermediary – will irritate the Swans, but they are anticipating a formal approach to soon be made.
Brighton’s technical director Dan Ashworth, formerly with the FA, has been a recent visitor to the Liberty Stadium.
If the enquiry comes the club must decide whether to try and hold Potter to the remaining two years of his contract – or let him go once compensation has been agreed.
The second option may well be determined by Potter’s own preference and whether recently appointed chairman Trevor Birch feels it makes sense to try and hold onto a manager against his will.
The approach for Potter is something of a throwback for Swansea to the days when their managers were coveted and left for bigger things at higher levels – such as the departures of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers – before the sacking spree started with Michael Laudrup, Garry Monk, Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley, Paul Clement and Carlos Carvalhal.
It has been suggested that Potter may not be the only manager being considered by Bloom, even though it appears he is Brighton’s first choice.
The back-up plans appear to include England Women’s manager Phil Neville, England assistant Steve Holland and Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke.
Potter was recently linked with Celtic, although that link came to nothing, but he is far more likely to be attracted by a move to the Premier League.
If the 43-year-old – who moved from Swedish club Ostersund last summer – does decide he wants to leave, then the Swans may turn to academy manager Cameron Toshack.
Hughton, 60, left Brighton less than 24 hours after the ending the Premier League with a 4-1 defeat to champions Manchester City following four-and-a-half years in charge on the south coast.