By Paul Jones
Steve Cooper has told Swansea City they must not sell Joe Rodon on the cheap and suggested £25m should be the going rate.
The Swans head coach is bracing himself for a firm offer from Tottenham before Friday’s transfer deadline after background moves from the Premier League club calculated to turn the head of the young Wales centre-back.
Cooper would rather the club’s American owners turn down all offers for the 22-year-old, but appears resigned to Rodon’s departure.
However, he has suggested that Norwich City’s record recent £25m sale of defender Ben Godfrey to Everton sets the benchmark and also that a suitable replacement has to be found immediately.
“What I would say about Joe or any other of our assets – and Joe is right up there as one of our biggest ones – it’s really important that if we do end up having to sell an asset then we get something to show for it,” said Cooper.
“Whether that’s the right number in terms of transfer fee, and we’ve seen very high profile moves from Championship to Premier League, that sets the precedent for the numbers.
“If we do lose an asset then our supporters will want to see some reinvestment and some good players coming in.”
Joe Rodon’s not worth £20m, but this club foot bastard signed for Manchester United for £80m and nobody batted an eyelid?🤦♂️ https://t.co/4UazHStZPC
— Jack Carter (@jackcarter22) October 14, 2020
Cooper admitted he has no idea how far down the line any move from Rodon may be but recent history suggests he may not be at the forefront of the owners’ minds should they decide to cash in.
Cooper admitted after the recent match against Millwall that he was only told about Kristoffer Peterson’s move to Fortuna Dusseldorf when he received a text message on the morning of the match.
Cooper added: “I haven’t seen Joe for best part of couple of weeks as he’s been away with Wales. We are training later.
“I do recognise there’s been a lot of stuff in the media about possible interest but I don’t how that far is down the line.
“We should not be selling on the cheap. The precedent has been set this year.
“We will always fight because that’s what we owe the supporters and the city. There’s never any doubt about that.
“But if we are going to lose a high-profile player I just hope there’s something to show for it.
“That is an appropriate transfer fee. The precedent has been set by moves already this summer. The other thing is to make sure we bolster the squad.”
Rumours circulated on social media after the Peterson deal that Cooper was considering quitting because of the club’s failure to consult him.
Without denying those claims directly, he added: “I’ve never been prouder to be in this job. The relationship I have with the players and staff here is one that I want and is powerful.
“When I speak I do so honestly and tell the truth. I’m not out to damage anybody and cause any drama.
“I hate the fact that people might be talking about me, especially after we’ve won a really tough at home. It’s embarrassing.
“But I’m speaking to the supporters. They can’t see us at the moment, they can’t see the team, and haven’t got any touch points with the club apart from seeing us on a internet stream unless the game’s on Sky.
“There’s even more responsibility and accountability to keep the fans engaged and this club does revolve around the people because of the uniqueness of the locality.”
Joe rodon £18M ?? His left arm is worth 14 👏🦢🖤
— Marcel Farrell (@marcelfarrell3) October 14, 2020
If Rodon does leave, then Swansea are looking to replace him with Manchester City centre-back Joel Latibeaudiere who would move on a free transfer.
The 20-year-old, who spent last season on loan with Dutch top-flight club FC Twente, is known to Cooper as a member of his England Under-17 World Cup-winning squad.
Cooper added: “Until anything is done, I don’t want to talk about it. As you know, we are not buying our way to success. It’s going to be through being creative – loans, young players, developing our own young players.”
Cooper has also been linked with a loan move for Wales and Liverpool striker Harry Wilson.
He added: “I do like Harry a lot. It’s really good when you have worked with players through their development – I have seen Harry since… the first time I tried to sign Harry was when he was under-8.
“I tried to get him at Wrexham but he had signed for Liverpool.
Joe Rodon vs Ireland
-6 long balls
-1 key pass
-3 ball recoveries
-3/5 duels won
One of the positives.😄🏴 pic.twitter.com/HYDM8wnNPj
— dylan🏴 (@JuneCymru) October 11, 2020
“When you have worked with young players, you do follow them and it’s brilliant to see them do well.
“To see in Harry’s case that he has had some good Championship experience and shown he is more than capable of excelling at that level, and then Premier League last year I think he scored seven goals, which is a good number in a team that got relegated.
“I always follow the players I have worked with, stay in contact and let them know I am there if they need a bit of advice.”