Swansea were today preparing to step up their interest in Romelu Lukaku as West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke insisted he will not promise first-team football to any new strikers.
The Baggies could be forced to reshape their forward line completely next season with a host of Premier League rivals, including the Swans, expressing an interest in Lukaku.
And Clarke insists he is planning to rotate his forwards again, having swapped around Lukaku, Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie to good effect during the club’s flying start to the season.
“I don’t make promises to players,” said Clarke. “When I speak to any player face to face I just give an honest opinion and I expect them to give an honest opinion back.
“That’s the way I’ve conducted myself all season.
“If you can rotate strikers it’s good to. If you look back at the start of the season, I was rotating forward players regularly and we always had energy and invention up front. If you do that with strikers you win matches.
“I’ve tried to do it all season but obviously it’s more difficult when you get into the dark days of the winter, when we didn’t do so well.
“We always try to keep the attacking players fresh if we can, because then they can make an impact on the game.
“I think it’s beneficial for a forward player if he can go into a game fresh, and with a lot of energy to impose himself on the game.”
Sources in Wales claim Swansea are preparing to firm up their interest in taking Lukaku on loan from Chelsea next season in the hope that Europa League football can tempt him to the Liberty Stadium.
They believe Chelsea and Lukaku’s advisors will push him towards a club in Europe as he looks to broaden his football education. But Lukaku is believed to favour either a return to Stamford Bridge with regular games or a second season at The Hawthorns, where he has scored 14 goals and become a popular figure with fans and team-mates.
Odemwingie seems certain to leave in the summer with Marc-Antoine Fortune out of contract and Swede Markus Rosenberg’s future uncertain.