Manchester City’s decision on whether or not to let James McAtee leave on loan will come down to the club’s Covid-19 situation.
The Swans are eager to add to their creative options this month and have targeted McAtee for several months.
The 19-year-old has been a regular in Pep Guardiola’s first team squad this season and has made three appearances for the Premier League leaders in all competitions so far this term.
Guardiola is keen to see McAtee develop elsewhere, although he is reluctant to ship out his young players amid concerns over squad depth owing to recent coronavirus cases at the club.
“I have quite a lot of experience with the loan market,” the club’s under-23’s head coach Brian Barry-Murphy told our sister title the MEN.
“There will be a host of clubs in a lot of countries that will want our players. The situation is very complex in terms of what is happening with the pandemic. The club will have some ideas, and at the moment I’m not aware of any of our players leaving on loan.
“If that changes, it has the knock-on effect of when we’ve lost players to injury, younger players will come into the fray.
“From our point of view it’s a no-lose situation, it’s making sure all of our players get as much action as possible and if that involves going on loan to enhance that, that’d be good.”
It appears likely that McAtee would need to sign a contract extension with Man City before sealing any potential loan exit.
Meanwhile, Harry Darling has stated he is happy at MK Dons amid transfer interest from Swansea.
Russell Martin is a firm admirer of the defender having worked with Darling during his time as manager of the League One outfit.
Swansea are aiming to free up funds in a bid to land their preferred transfer targets this month, which include Darling’s MK Dons team mate Matt O’Riley.
It comes after the Swans completed a deal to take goalkeeper Andy Fisher from Stadium MK to south Wales for a fee in the region of £400,000 last week.
“We’re all MK Dons players, I’m happy and I know the other lads are as well,” Darling told the MK Citizen.
“If your name gets mentioned, it’s a compliment because it means you’re doing well.
“But we’re all playing for Milton Keynes, we’ve not got our heads elsewhere.
“It’s something we don’t really listen to, even though we know it’s there. We’re only focused on our next game.”
WalesOnline understands Darling has a release clause of £1.5m, and Swansea could well swoop for the central defender in the summer if they are unable to clinch a move for the youngster this month.
Darling’s former club Cambridge United would be due a sell-on fee should the 22-year-old leave MK Dons.
Elsewhere, Martin admits Ben Hamer has immediately benefitted from the arrival of Andy Fisher from MK Dons.
Fisher sealed a permanent switch to south Wales last week and is set to challenge Hamer for the number one jersey following Steven Benda’s loan switch to Peterborough United.
Hamer impressed against his former club Huddersfield last time out, making key saves to deny Lewis O’Brien as Swansea claimed a point in west Yorkshire.
And Martin says Hamer responded well following a poor run of form prior to Christmas.
“Ben knows, and is honest about it, he had a little dip in form,” said the head coach.
“But he made three huge saves, one of which was at a very important time, but he is also so brave on the ball.
“The courage and calmness he shows in possession is fantastic. He knows Andy has been brought in as part of a long-term vision for the club, he knows it gives him real competition and I think it has helped him.
“You could see it in the way he trained and prepared during the week, and the way he played.
“We are all human beings and when you are in the team and playing, you also know there is someone there just desperate to take your place.”
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And in further news, Dan Williams has sealed a loan move to Dundalk.
The midfielder impressed in his Carabao Cup outings against Reading and Plymouth Argyle earlier this season and was recently handed a fresh contract by his boyhood club.
And on Monday morning, it was confirmed that the Welshman has clinched a temporary switch to the League of Ireland.
“I had a chat with the gaffer, Russell Martin, at Swansea. I played a couple of cup games at the start of the season and he said the next step for me was to go out and get some first-team football,” he told Dundalk’s club website.
“When I mentioned the possibility of the League of Ireland, he was happy with that.
“Now that I’m here, I just want to play as much as possible. Playing in the U23 league in the UK has its benefits when you’re 18 or 19 but at my age now I just want to get out and play in front of fans and improve as an individual.”
It comes after goalkeeper Lewis Webb joined Shelbourne on loan.
“Lewis fits the profile of goalkeeper that we want at Shelbourne FC,” said Shelbourne boss and former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff.
“He has enormous potential and has shown his hunger by coming to the League of Ireland from Swansea.
“He is a great addition as it is important that we have competition in every position in the squad.”
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