Steve Cooper has been dealt a blow in his bid to re-sign Freddie Woodman for Swansea City this summer.
That’s according to a report by Chronicle Live, who claim that both Arsenal and Southampton are interested in a move for the Newcastle United goalkeeper in the upcoming transfer window after impressing over two loan spells at Swansea – who are also thought to be keen on re-signing the shot-stopper this summer.
The report also included a quote given by Woodman himself, who revealed that he will not return to St. James’ Park in order to play second or third fiddle to Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow.
He said: “Currently I’m a Swansea player and that’s it. When I go back to Newcastle I’ll have the same mentality I had coming here. I’ll train and try to be No 1, and if that doesn’t happen I’ll work hard and keep trying to improve.”
Considering just how well the £8.1m-rated shot-stopper has performed over his two seasons at the Liberty Stadium, the news that the likes of Arsenal and Southampton are now considering a move for the 24-year-old – whom Ryan Dilks dubbed as “fantastic” – is likely to come as gutting news for Cooper.
In his first season with Swansea, Woodman kept 12 clean sheets over 43 Championship appearances, as well as making an average of 2.6 saves per game and stopping three out of the five penalties he faced – earning a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.89.
This term, the former England U21 international has kept a whopping 20 clean sheets over 45 Championship fixtures, in addition to making an average of 2.2 saves per game and stopping one of the three penalties he has faced, seeing the 24-year-old earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.92 – ranking him as the Swans’ 12th-best performer in the second tier.
And, with Cooper’s side just one game away from promotion via the play-off final, should the 41-year-old indeed lose the services of Woodman to either Arsenal or Southampton this summer, he will have the difficult task of sourcing a suitable replacement for his first-choice ‘keeper ahead of what may well be a top flight campaign.
Either way, the news of clubs’ interest with considerably bigger appeal and resources than the Swans would not appear to bode well for their chances of re-signing the shot-stopper this summer – although, securing promotion to the Premier League certainly wouldn’t damage their hopes.