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Fry ‘ We are not paying that for a goalkeeper ‘ Russell Martin takes over transfer negotiations
Thursday, 26th May 2022 09:00 by Keith Haynes

Swansea City manager Russell Martin seems extremely keen to get the players he wants in to the club this summer by any means necessary. The first obstacle is cash, but already Swansea City have been in dialogue with Peterborough United regards goalkeeper Steven Benda.

And by all accounts another player.

Benda has been on loan at Peterborough this season and has enjoyed a decent time at the club despite being relegated. The posh were keen to sign him and Benda allegedly is keen to do leave the swans. Swansea City want in the region of £900,000 for Benda, which to us sounds a very inflated price. This initiated Barry Fry ‘director of football’ at Peterborough to respond “They wanted one million pounds and there’s no way we are paying that for a goalkeeper” That’s a real slap in the face for Benda, Fry has a long history of his jaw working before his brain engages and it seems he has done it again. The quotes in his local Peterborough newspaper also included “ Russell Martin then suggested an exchange of two of his players, including Steven, for one of ours, but that is not going to happen. Steven’s wages would also be a problem for us”

So let’s get this straight, Peterborough can’t afford him, they aren’t willing to consider a player exchange, and they can’t afford his wages. Nice one Barry, you really have to think before you speak. Why even mention it if you can’t even afford to pay the bloke ?

But his comments were revealing.

Did anyone else notice this ?
For the first time Russell Martin is being spoken about in first name terms as negotiating transfers on behalf of the club. This doesn’t surprise us, the loss of two salaries in recent months amounting to no small annual figure has left a gap for Martin to take over matters to some extent. Both Andy Scott and Mark Allen have moved on, and the recruitment and staffing gap is obvious. It’s also obvious Martin wants rid of a whole host of players, Nathanael Ogbeta has been rumoured but he also wants Liam Walsh off the wage bill.

Reading between the lines is always going to throw up more questions.

If as it seems the swans boss is now on talking terms with other club representatives ( and we don’t mean inquiries ) regards player exchanges and money then things have taken a turn. A few months back he was referencing others who fulfil that role, now it seems it is Martin who is at the forefront. If that’s also now his brief along with Julian Winter at least he has a handle on the actual specifics. That means of course a lot is going to be weighing in his shoulders, and Barry Fry for all his blether has answered more than a few questions for us this week.

However, it does have a feeling of desperation at times, we know that negotiations for players is a hard journey, and for Martin to be doing this as well as all his other work at Swansea it does feel a bit strange. There really does need to be a stop gap between the manager and discussing cash, player exchanges and salaries. Those days have long gone in modern football, there are specific roles in place for this. The business end of a club shouldn’t be the concern of the team manager. We will give Fry some credit though when he said “There has been very little activity yet as clubs won’t sign players if they have to pay the June wages.” Of course that goes for all clubs at all levels below the rich list of the premier league. A few sentences can give a lot away. If you are looking for them that is.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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