Swansea City: Paul Clement wants to extend coach Claude Makelele's contract

Claude Makelele
Claude Makelele (left) was also an assistant coach at Paris Saint-Germain alongside Paul Clement

Swansea City boss Paul Clement says he wants coach Claude Makelele to become a more permanent fixture at the Premier League club.

Makelele, 44, became assistant coach at the Swans in January, after signing a contract until the end of the season.

Clement wants to keep the former Chelsea defensive midfielder with the Swans for longer than that.

"If we keep moving in the direction we're going there would be no reason to change anything," said Clement.

Former French international Makelele made 217 appearances for Chelsea between 2003 and 2008 and also had spells with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

His arrival at the Liberty Stadium has coincided with an upturn in fortunes with three wins out of the last four games lifting the Swans away from the relegation zone.

Clement believes Makelele has slotted seamlessly into his coaching setup and now wants that to continue forward into next season.

"I have three assistants," said Clement.

"Karl Halabi I worked with at Fulham, Chelsea and Derby. He is strong on physical preparation of players. I work very closely with him on how we integrate physical training into football training.

"Nigel [Gibbs] was a player for 20 years at Watford and has been a coach for many years so has a lot of experience. He is very good hands on, helping me organise training and run the drills.

'There's only one Makelele'

The Swans head to Stamford Bridge to face Makelele's former side Chelsea who are eight points clear at the top of the table under manager Antonio Conte.

"Claude is different. He does not have so much coaching experience, but he has a good feel for players, one-to-one, he has great knowledge of the game having played at such a high level," Clement continued.

"He really captures someone when he talks to them. We have a nice blend."

Leon Britton
Leon Britton had a five month spell at Sheffield United in the 2010-11 season before rejoining Swansea

Amongst Chelsea's array of talented players there has been high praise for N'Golo Kante, who signed for the club from defending champions Leicester in the summer of 2016.

Kante's midfield enforcer role has seen comparisons made with Makelele during his playing days, but Clement, whilst impressed by Kante, believes his current assistant boss has the edge.

Clement commented: "Kante is a wonderful player. He did so well at Leicester. They did an amazing job to recruit a player like that.

"He's obviously made that transition from Leicester to Chelsea seamlessly. You can understand why those comparisons are being made, but there's only one Makelele."

'I've got a question for Leon Legend'

Clement expressed his admiration for Leon Britton, who has made more than 500 appearances for the Swans and remains an important player for the club moving forward.

"At the fans' forum, someone stood up and said 'I've got a question for Leon Legend,' added Clement.

"I actually didn't realise how long he'd been here, I think it's 15 years. What a great, young man and he's super professional. He's working hard.

"He's at an age where some of the harder training sessions are difficult for him and it takes a couple of days to recover. But in terms of his personality around the team, it's top draw.

"He's very influential in the dressing room as a senior player. But does it in a very respectable way. I appreciate it very much."

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