MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Neymar of Brazil battles with Joe Allen of GB during the international friendly match between Team GB and Brazil at Riverside Stadium on July 20, 2012 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
On Tuesday, Liverpool's rumoured interest in Swansea midfielder Joe Allen was confirmed along with the revelation of details of the player's contract including a limited £15M release clause that would allow him to terminate it. Late on Wednesday, while Liverpool were preparing to take on Roma in Boston, Swansea responded to the growing rumours by sending out a press release that made no attempts at hiding their annoyance.
"Swansea City can confirm that Liverpool have expressed an interest in Joe Allen, despite a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any players within the 12-month period of former manager Brendan Rodgers leaving for Anfield.
"There has also been interest from other clubs regarding his possible availability and the club is due to speak to Joe, as originally planned, about the situation when he returns from GB duty.
"The club is not prepared to release any details on whether any formal bids have been made at this stage or details of Joe’s contract, which are private and confidential. The club is extremely disappointed that speculation regarding certain aspects of his contract have been released to the media by parties outside the club.
"Fortunately the club is in a financial position where it does not need to sell any of its players and will continue to work in the best interests of its supporters, who are our priority, and the club to provide new manager Michael Laudrup with the best opportunity to be successful in the forthcoming Premier League campaign."
That the club is incensed—angry, even—is clear, and it is obvious that they resent Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool having showing interest in Allen "despite a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any players" until next summer. They're also upset about an unnamed third party—presumably Allen's agent—releasing details of Allen's contract, which can only be in response to it being leaked that that contract includes a £15M release clause that can be triggered by Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, or Liverpool.
A deal may still be done, of course. It may even be the most likely outcome. It's clear, however, that Swansea are not in the mood to be pushed around in the matter and that they are in no rush to conclude any deal in an expedient manner. In fact, the underlying message seems fairly clear, especially when the Welsh side talks of waiting until after the Olympics to even begin to address the situation with the player.
Swansea have all but publicly told Rodgers and Liverpool to pay the full £15M to release the player from his contract or go away. The question now is whether Rodgers wants Allen badly enough to do so.