Swansea City are closing in on Graham Potter for vacant manager role

By Chris WathanBBC Sport Wales
Graham Potter
Graham Potter orchestrated a Swansea-style rise with Ostersunds from the fourth tier of the Swedish league to the Europa League

Swansea City are closing in on Ostersunds boss Graham Potter as they look to name a new manager.

Potter oversaw Ostersunds' 5-2 win over Ik Sirius on Wednesday and stated he would "absolutely" be in charge for their weekend game with BK Hacken.

The 43-year-old played down the links but it is understood that an agreement could be reached in the coming days.

Swansea are believed to be confident of finalising the move having held talks over replacing Carlos Carvalhal.

Several names have been under consideration by Swansea, including former Reading boss Jaap Stam while they are also understood to have held talks with former Crystal Palace and Ajax manager Frank de Boer.

But Potter - who has been a Swansea managerial target in the past - is thought to have been the preferred candidate from the outset, believing he can spark a return to their playing identity following relegation from the Premier League.

Potter, who has been targeted by Swansea in the past, has caught the attention of several clubs in English football for his achievements with Ostersunds.

The former Stoke and Southampton defender took the club from the Swedish lower leagues to European football and has won praise for both his methods and his team's playing style.

He oversaw impressive Europa League wins over Galatasaray and Arsenal this season as well as drawing with Athletic Bilbao.

Potter, who has been with Ostersunds since 2011, signed a four-year deal with the 2017 Swedish Cup winners in March and Swansea would have to pay compensation to take him to South Wales, though it is not to thought be a sticking point.

Ostersunds, currently eighth in Sweden's top tier, have one remaining fixture on Saturday before a break in league fixtures until July 9.

Graham Potter
Potter spent the majority of his playing career as a full-back, including in the Premier League for Southampton.

Asked if he would remain with Ostersunds for the weekend clash, Potter replied: "Absolutely".

Speaking to Swedish TV channel C More Entertainment after his current side's win against IK Sirius he added: "It's just speculation.

"I said the same yesterday and before the last game. It's the same thing now.

"We had to focus on today's game and we did it really well. Now we have to focus on the game on Saturday.

"We've had a tough spring because of many reasons.

"But we have the opportunity to finish the spring with 17 points if we win on Saturday. Let's focus on that."

It is understood Potter would bring two of his backroom staff in Sweden with him to Swansea City.

Assistant Billy Reid and scout Kyle McAuley are poised to be part of his backroom team at the Liberty Stadium.

Former Hamilton manager Reid turned down the chance to become Swans manager in 2010, before the club appointed Brendan Rogers.

Meanwhile, Swansea have named former Liverpool and Wrexham striker lee Jones as their academy's first development manager for north Wales.

The ex-Tranmere academy manager, who was also capped twice for Wales, will help set up development centres from mid to north Wales to attract more young players into the club.