Swansea City are edging closer to appointing a new manager to succeed Steve Cooper, with favourite Russell Martin apparently being spotted arriving at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans made an official approach for the MK Dons manager on Friday, seemingly choosing their frontrunner after Jody Morris was also in the race after John Eustace turned down the role.
A picture has been shared on social media on Sunday claiming to show Martin arriving in SA1.
An imminent appointment would mean the Swans would have a new manager in post when their new Championship season starts on Saturday, August 7, away to Blackburn Rovers.
Steve Cooper left his post on July 21 by mutual consent.
You can follow all the latest on the club's managerial search with our live blog below.
Live updates below:
Russell Martin 'spotted' at Liberty Stadium
Here's the picture that's got lots of Swans fans talking today.
He’s here pic.twitter.com/20RtfmRu73— Jak Morgan (@JakMorgan01) August 1, 2021
Alan Tate on Russell Martin's football philosophy
Swansea's caretaker boss Alan Tate discussed Russell Martin and hailed his football philosophy after the Swans' 3-1 loss to Southampton at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Tate believes Martin's preferred style of play would go down well with the Jack Army.
"I think he plays some good attractive stuff," he said.
"I haven’t seen too many MK Dons games if I am honest but I know he faced a challenge when he first took over and they were at the bottom. He managed to get them out of it.
“He had an up and down season last year I think it’s fair to say, with where they finished, but he has got a philosophy and he believes in it which is brilliant.
“If he can bring that here and get some consistency with it then the fans, the players and the club will be loving it.
“The passing style he does like to play is synonymous with this club, so hopefully he comes in and matches results with performances."
MK Dons' statement on 'extreme disappointment' over timing of Swans approach
MK Dons confirmed Swansea City's approach for Russell Martin on Saturday, ahead of the League One side's League Cup clash against Bournemouth, which they lost 5-0.
Here's what the Milton Keynes outfit had to say:
"MK Dons can confirm that an official approach has been made by Swansea City to speak to Russell Martin regarding their vacant managerial position.
"To our extreme disappointment, this was received less than 24 hours prior to our first competitive fixture of the season.
"To minimise disruption to our players and our match preparation, it was decided that this would be discussed after today’s game.
"It was not our intention to release a statement until after discussions regarding the approach had taken place but given the intense media speculation, we felt it necessary to confirm the situation to both our players this morning and to our supporters before the game.
"The Club will make no further comment at this time while we focus on this afternoon’s fixture."
Swans' manager search dubbed 'infuriating and embarrassing'
That's the opinion of WalesOnline's Swans columnist Guto Llewelyn, who writes:
"It’s now more than three weeks since the Swans board knew for sure that a new manager would be required. They should have been pretty well prepared for this scenario. After all, Cooper had been hotly linked with several clubs beforehand so his departure was hardly surprising, even if the manner in which it came about was unusual.
"But here we are, a week away from the opening day clash at Blackburn and we still await confirmation over who will be in the Ewood Park dugout.
"Trying to follow Swansea’s managerial search from the outside is like watching a hosepipe on full blast with nobody holding it. It’s wild, totally unpredictable and it’s making a mess.
"This is a terrible position to be in but it’s made worse by the fact there have been so many other issues this summer."
Full column here.
Swans make official approach for Martin
Big, big news this evening.
Swansea City have made an official approach to MK Dons for boss Russell Martin, WalesOnline understands.
Martin had been identified as one of two front-runners for the vacant hot-seat at the Liberty Stadium, alongside Chelsea assistant Jody Morris, after previous first-choice contender John Eustace withdrew from the running due to personal reasons.
Both men are understood to have held conversations with the hierarchy this week, and it now seems as though Swansea are pushing ahead with efforts to appoint the MK Dons boss.
Everything we know so far
Let's not beat around the bush.
This has been a truly chaotic summer for Swansea City.
Put to one side the fact that this squad has already lost several of its better players in an already disappointing transfer window - and indeed looks like losing captain Matt Grimes too.
Put to one side the loss of Steve Cooper, and John Eustace, the number one choice to replace him, choosing not to come to Swansea for what we are told were personal reasons.
Even permitting for the above, the cold hard fact that is currently staring us all in the face is that this makeshift Swansea squad are, with the season just over a week away, without a first team manager.
The gravity of the situation certainly isn't lost on the fans and many feel the club's hierarchy have some questions to answer when the dust on this saga finally settles.
For now, though, the focus has to be on getting a new manager through the door.
Here's everything we know so far.
Wilder rumours dismissed
Chris Wilder is not currently in the running for the Swansa City job, despite being heavily backed by the bookies.
Wilder is currently a free agent having left Sheffield United earlier this year, and sources have indicated that Swansea have not made any contact to bring him to the Liberty Stadium.
Dyer lifts the lid on his team-mates
As you may have heard, Nathan Dyer has announced his retirement from professional football today.
During his 11 years at Swansea City, he's played with some truly great players .
Here, he goes through just a few of them.
Dyer lifts the lid on his team-mates from his 11 years as a Swans player pic.twitter.com/gc0MfoXiX0— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) July 30, 2021
Morris now the favourite
Here are the latest odds from SkyBet, with Jody Morris now the bookies' favourite to take over.
Jody Morris 11/8
Chris Wilder 3/1
Russell Martin 3/1
Alan Tate 5/1
John Terry 12/1
Graeme Jones 20/1
Cameron Toshack 22/1
Frank Lampard 25/1
Gio Savarese 25/1
John Eustace 28/1
No official approach - Martin
Russell Martin says MK Dons have not yet received any official approach from Swansea City for his services.
"If something official ever happened, I'm pretty sure you'd know that pretty quickly," Martin added when questioned whether an approach to MK had been made.
"As far as I'm concerned we're here and doing a job. A job I really enjoy.
"After that, I don't know how long the journey with us will last. I'm planning to be here a long time, but in football you never know.
"At this moment in time, I'm happy and I'm with a group of people I really enjoy doing it with.
"I think the club would have told you. No one's told me there has been."
Martin rules out imminent move
MK Dons boss Russell Martin has seemingly ruled out an imminent move to Swansea City and insists he will be in the dugout for his side's Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.
Martin has emerged as one of two front-runners, alongside former Chelsea assistant Jody Morris, to take the job after previous first-choice candidate John Eustace turned it down.
Reports elsewhere have suggested that Martin has now also rejected the chance to succeed Steve Cooper, although those suggestions have been vehemently denied by Swansea sources.
The club are understood to be still chasing the MK Dons boss, although it seems he is set to remain in Buckinghamshire for the time being at least.
Speaking to local radio station MKFM, Martin was asked whether it was fair to assume that he would take charge of Saturday's clash with the Cherries.
"It will," he replied.
"I'm in my MK Dons tracksuit walking my puppy around the park as we speak before we leave," he said.
Wilder now favourite with the bookies
Chris Wilder has suddenly emerged as the new bookies' favourite to take over at Swansea City.
Odds have tumbled on the former Sheffield Unted boss succeeding Steve Cooper in the Liberty Stadium hot-seat, with SkyBet now placing him as the 9/4 favourite for the job.
It's a development that has coincided with the departure of Wilder's former Blades assistant Alan Knill, who has left Bramall Lane by mutual consent.
Knill is also a former Wales and Swansea player and rumours are gathering gathered pace that he and Wilder are heavily in the running for the Liberty post.
Jody Morris, who has already held discussions with the Swansea top brass over the job this week is priced at 5/2.
Russell Martin, also believed to have been interviewed for the job and alongside Morris one of the leading candidates, has seen his odds drift to 3/1 amid reports that he has turned down the position.
Alan Tate, who took charge of the team during Wednesday night's pre-season win over Forest Green Rovers is also at 3/1 to land the post full-time.
Swansea badly need to make an appointment with the kick-off for the new season just over a week away.
Martin still in frame - full story
Russell Martin is still in the frame for the Swansea City job despite suggestions that he's turned down the position, WalesOnline understands.
Martin has been in contention alongside former Chelsea and Derby County assistant Jody Morris to take over the Liberty Stadium hot-seat all week, after previous front-runner John Eustace withdrew from the race due to personal reasons.
Predecessor Steve Cooper left his position at the Liberty Stadium by mutual consent last week, and concerns around the club's preparations for the new season appear to be growing.
Those concerns went into overdrive when suggestions emerged that Martin had turned down the Swans job to remain at MK Dons, but it's understood the Scotland international - alongside Morris - is still in contention for the post.
The club's preferred candidate is not yet clear, but Martin has arguably emerged as the fans' first choice.
Sources at the club have categorically refused the assertion that Martin has rejected the opportunity to take over, although reports elsewhere remain adamant that Swansea's chase has continued on the back of the 35-year old batting away their initial approach.
Martin still in the frame despite rejection rumours
WalesOnline understands MK Dons boss Russell Martin is still in contention to become Swansea City's new manager, despite suggestions that Martin has turned the job down.
Sources have indicated that the situation has, in fact, changed very little from yesterday, which presumably means Jody Morris is also very much still a contender.
Clearly a way to go on all this.
Gentle reminder that the season starts in little over a week...
Smith - We've got to stick together
Korey Smith admits he's pleased by the way Swansea have maintained their standards this summer, after recording another pre-season win last night.
“It’s another game unbeaten in pre-season, which is good.
“It’s more minutes in the bank and another win.
“It’s been an up and down pre-season with everything that’s gone on, but we’ve got a really good team spirit.
“Unfortunately the game was cancelled last weekend, but we’ve kept our high standards.
“There are a few more experienced players in the squad and it’s more important now since the manager left that we step up and ensure the standard in training remains as high as it can be.
“We’ve all got to stick together as a club and move forward. Hopefully there are more positive things to come.”
Peybernes linked once more
Here we go again.
Mathieu Peybernes has once again been linked with a move to Swansea City.
Spanish publication Marca claims the Swans and Huesca are showing an interest in the Frenchman, who's still trying to negotiate the termination of his current deal with Almeria.
This one has been played down to us before, and indeed this latest report suggests the player himself prefers a move to Real Zaragoza, who have long been credited with an interest.
Swans stars set to miss out on Southampton clash
Swansea City will once again be without a number of players for their final pre-season game against Southampton.
Jay Fulton, Ryan Manning, Lewis Webb and Ben Margetson all missed the 2-1 triumph at Forest Green Rovers on Wednesday night after returning positive Covid-19 tests.
They will all be unavailable for the contest with the Saints on Saturday, although Alan Tate has hinted that Fulham target Matt Grimes could be involved after missing the game at New Lawn with a minor knock.
And the club legend allayed fears over Yan Dhanda and Liam Walsh who were both withdrawn during the win over Forest Green Rovers.
Interesting scenes at Stadium MK last night.
Is this a farewell?
Super Russell Martin! pic.twitter.com/Xlef8f8nG4— Milton Keynes Dons (@MKDonsFC) July 28, 2021
Brighton and Watford have reportedly joined the race for Swansea City midfielder Matt Grimes.
WalesOnline understands Grimes has already been the subject of an enquiry from Fulham this summer and, according to Football Insider, the Premier League duo have now made a similar approach.
The same report claims Grimes could leave the Liberty Stadium for just £1.5m this summer, given that he's now entering the final year of his contract.
Sources at the club have insisted that such a low suggested price tag is wide of the mark, although there is still a growing sense of pessimism around the Swans' chances of keeping the 26-year old.
It's understood there is no concrete bid on the table from anyone at this stage.
Martin and Morris both still in the frame
Russell Martin is still the bookies' favourite for the Swansea City job.
The current MK Dons boss is odds on with some bookmakers to succeed Steve Cooper in the Liberty Stadium hot-seat, although the club still hold an interest in Jody Morris.
Discussions with the former Chelsea assistant have already begun, and are likely to continue over the coming days.
It's believed Martin has also been interviewed for the job, although the Swans would obviously need to pay compensation to relieve him of his duties at Stadium:MK.
Both men are seemingly still firmly in the frame, despite reports elsewhere suggesting that Martin is now the favoured candidate.
As such, there is no clear front-runner at this stage, with Martin poised to take charge of his side's pre-season friendly with Tottenham Hotspur later tonight.
Piroe settling in
Despite all the uncertainty around their manager, new signing Joel Piroe insists he's still settling in nicely since arriving at SA1 earlier this summer.
“It was lovely to play again in midweek and to get to play in front of the fans for the first time. The people at the club and in the city have been very helpful to help me settle in.
“Now I want to play as much as I can and have a good rhythm and understanding with my team-mates.
“It is a very important time for me, and I just want more and more.
“I want to be ready for the start of the season and ready to compete for this club.”
As things stand, Russell Martin remains the favouirite with the bookies to take the vacant manager's post.
Russell Martin- 1/2
Jody Morris- 6/4
John Terry- 5/1
Michael Flynn- 16/1
Cameron Toshack- 16/1
Alan Tate- 25/1
Eidur Gudjohnsen- 25/1
Eddie Howe- 25/1
Bookmakers.co.uk spokesperson Darren Hughes said: “The betting market for the vacant Swansea job has been turned on its head in the last few hours, with MK Dons manager Russell Martin now the 1/2 favourite to take over the Swans, according to latest bookmaker odds. Having been as short as 1/3 on Monday, John Terry is now on the drift, and is a 5/1 shot for the role. Punters seem to think Martin is the man for the job, and with reports that he interviewed strongly for the job in the last 24 hours, punters' confidence seems well-placed.”
Meanwhile, there's a couple of transfer rumours to bring you this morning.
Matt Grimes is already understood to have attracted an enquiry from Fulham this summer, but Football Insider now claims that Watford and Brighton have joined the race, and have now made similar approaches.
Interestingly, the same report claims Grimes could be available for as little as £1.5m.
Meanwhile, George Byers is closing in on a move to Sheffield Wednesday, according to our colleagues at YorkshireLive.
Byers has long been touted as one of those that could well be primed for a move away this summer, and it now appears that Wednesday are on the brink of getting a deal over the line.
Russell Martin latests
Reports last night have now suggested that Swansea City have now made an official approach for MK Dons boss Russell Martin.
Football Insider claims that the Swans have stepped up their interest in the former Scotland international.
A move for Martin will likely be a little more complicated than a move for Morris, given that a compensation fee would have to be paid, although there has not yet been any indication that such a fee will be a problem should the Swans decide the 35-year old is the right man for the job.
MK Dons friendly
MK Dons take on Tottenham in a friendly tomorrow night.
As things stand, Russell Martin will take charge of the League One outfit amid Swansea's interest in him.
Kick-off in that one is at 7:45pm tomorrow, so it'll be worth listening to what the boss has to say after the game!
We'll endeavour to bring you the latest following Swansea's contest with Forest Green Rovers.
Forest Green Rovers v Swansea team news
Ben Cabango could feature for the first time since returning from international duty with Wales at Euro 2020.
Connor Roberts will miss out as he continues his recovery from the groin injury he sustained during Wales' 4-0 loss to Denmark in June.
Jordon Garrick (hamstring), George Byers (groin) and Ollie Cooper (ankle) are continuing to be assessed.
The Swans will also be without the three players who tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the cancelled friendly with Bristol Rovers.
Martin's exciting MK Dons interview
You may well have seen the clip doing the rounds already, but this interview from Russell Martin during his time at MK Dons has certainly got the Jack Army excited!
You can read it in full here.
OTJ has his say on Russell Martin
Speaking about Martin's credentials, former Swan Owain Tudur Jones wrote on Twitter: "This morning I was worried. This evening, less so after reading that Russell Martin might be on the shortlist.
"Get that compensation paid and he’s the man to get the best of the current squad (plus new signings) by providing the fans with a style of play they crave."
Forest Green Rovers update
Alan Tate is expected to take charge of Swansea's pre-season friendly against Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night.
The club legend was due to lead the Swans at Bristol Rovers on Saturday before John Eustace's proposed appointment, although the fixture was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the first team bubble.
Sky Bet manager odds
Russell Martin 4/6
Jody Morris 11/4
John Terry 3/1
Michael Flynn 18/1
Cameron Toshack / Gavin Williams 20/1