Swansea boss Paul Clement certainly left nothing down to interpretation today when he spoke to BBC Wales, confirming that he has spoken to Kyle Bartley and the player will be returning to play for him next season.
Clement said, “He’s had a good season, we’ve spoken on the telephone and I said well done.”
“It’s unusual loan players captaining the side, he’s done well, but from our point of view I’m looking forward to him coming back and working with him.”
“As far as I’m concerned he’s a Swansea player and he’s staying.”
“He’s coming back here.”
The news is a serious blow to Leeds’ chances of signing Bartley but it certainly isn’t over. Bartley has one year remaining on his deal in Wales and if he isn’t in the first-team plans at the club he will look to move away. What it does mean is that we may have to pay more than we expected for the player, something we wouldn’t have to do with some of the loan, such as Pontus Jansson as his loan had a fee agreed if Leeds wanted the player.
Leeds will still hope to do a deal and Garry Monk (fingers crossed he gets the job) made no secret he wanted to sign the player if he stayed. Bartley has been ever present since arriving on loan from Swansea and captained the side through much of the season. He has stolen the armband after the Wigan game to keep, saying he was so proud of having that honour at the club. Only time will tell whether Clement meant what he said or he is making sure they get good money for the player.