Date:Thursday August 11 2011
Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that he has contacted Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray regarding their skipper Matthew Bates.
After securing the services of Holland's number two goalkeeper Michel Vorm for a bargain £1.5m, Rodgers has now turned his attentions to strengthening the defence.
Neil Taylor is suspended for Monday's opener at Manchester City and Garry Monk is also doubtful, but not only that, our defence does need strengthening as it's lacking good cover. The fact that we have no replacements for centre backs Ashley Williams and Steven Caulker for Monday's game confirms that.
Rodgers told BBC Sport that he is in no rush to sign a defender:
'They are players who we are interested in, But they are at other clubs.'
'It is certainly an area we want to strengthen,'
'It is different in the Premier League as once you name your squad, that's you through to January - so we must make sure we have enough quality and reinforcements.'
'I spoke to [Boro manager] Tony Mowbray on Matthew and on his availability to see where he was at,'
'There is a number of players that we are looking at but I am not in a rush.'
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray said he's received no offer from the Swans for Bates:
'I have had one conversation with Brendan and then nothing,'
'I said to Matthew [Thursday] morning that nothing has happened, there has been no further conversations, there has been no offers, it is just speculation.
'He needs to get his head around the fact he is captain of Middlesbrough Football Club, he's got a big game at the weekend and he has to get himself ready.'
Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala has also been reported as another defensive target for the Premiership club.
Date:Thursday August 11 2011
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|11. Aston Villa||28||8||7||13||-7||31|
|13. Hull City||28||8||6||14||-5||30|
|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
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