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Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Boss Paulo Sousa unsure on Leon Britton's Swans future

Leon Britton has played more than 300 games for Swansea City in seven years
Britton has played more than 300 games for Swansea in seven years

Manager Paulo Sousa admits he "does not know" if midfielder Leon Britton will still be a Swansea City player after the transfer window closes on Monday.

Britton was left out altogether from the Swans 0-0 home draw with Coventry on Tuesday, fuelling further speculation over his future.

The 27-year-old's contract runs out at the end of the season and Wigan are interested in signing him.

"I hope he will stay, we will see what happens," said Sousa.

"Life and football have a lot of surprises and we need to expect that.

"I don't like decisions in the middle of the season. I don't like to see the instability but I recognise this happens in football and we need to deal with the situation well.

"Everybody knows he can start to talk to other clubs because the regulations concede that to him.

"But of course what we want is players who are completely focused with ourselves and our identity.

"It's normal that the 100% focus doesn't exist if you start to talk with others. We will try to help him to be focused."

Sousa insists the decision to leave Britton out of the Coventry stalemate was tactical and not to do with the Wigan interest.

The former Arsenal youngster is one of Swansea's longest-serving players after joining from West Ham United in 2003 - after a brief loan spell - as a teenager.

The future of fans' favourite Britton, who roomed with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez when the pair were together at Swansea, has been under intense speculation for over a month.

It was sparked after he conceded he was "surprised and disappointed" that Sousa made public details of his contract negotiations.

The Swansea boss revealed Britton, who has made more than 300 appearances for the Welsh club, would become one of the best paid players in the club's history if he signed a new deal.

"I am disappointed to lose players who can give 100% to the club," Sousa added.

"It's very close to the end of the winter transfers and hopefully after that we can cool down not only with him but with everyone.

"He tries to do his best but we need to recognise it's not easy for the player.

"Like he's said already to the Press, he is completely committed and, while he is here, we want him to play his best football.

"I've said a thousand times that he is important. He has not played 10 games for Swansea, he has played more than 300."

But Britton has a young daughter and has previously admitted he has been unsettled by the turmoil of his recent split with his daughter's mother who has moved back to his native London.

Martinez has already signed one-time Swans stars Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez for Wigan and the Spaniard, who has previously stated Britton has Premier League quality, is interested in signing Britton.

Wigan manager Martinez hopes to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes on 1 February and Lactics midfielder Ben Watson, also a transfer target for Swansea's Welsh Championship rivals Cardiff, may be a makeweight in any deal.

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see also
Swansea 0-0 Coventry
26 Jan 10 |  Championship
Britton confirms Wigan interest
25 Jan 10 |  Swansea
Striker Kuqi seals Swansea move
26 Jan 10 |  Swansea
Britton 'disappointed' with Sousa
14 Dec 09 |  Swansea
Doubt over Britton's Swans future
11 Dec 09 |  Swansea
Britton signs new Swans contract
07 Aug 07 |  Swansea
Britton relishes 300th appearance
14 Aug 09 |  Swansea

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