DAVID Ngog was edging closer to the Reebok exit door last night after Swansea City revived their interest in the French striker.
Overnight reports had linked Ngog with a move back to France with Evian – but sources in South Wales claim Swans boss Michael Laudrup is ready to launch a late attempt to land the player he tried to sign in the last transfer window.
Swansea shelved their interest in September after discussing personal terms with the former Liverpool man on deadline day.
Ngog has since held out for a move back to the Premier League despite interest from two Turkish clubs and may now be willing to reduce his demands – which have proved an obstacle to a handful of reported suitors – to make the deal happen.
That would free up cash for Dougie Freedman to ward off the advances of Nottingham Forest for his number one strike target Danny Graham, who is available on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season.
Wanderers desperately need a boost after Saturday’s 7-1 pummelling at Reading and have lodged a bid for the 28-year-old Tynesider, who has been on loan at Hull City.
High-flying Forest firmed up their interest yesterday with a substantial offer and now look favourites for his signature, with Leeds United and Middlesbrough both stepping away after registering early interest.
That Wanderers were able to match Sunderland’s requests indicates funds are being released for Freedman to bolster his squad ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Cardiff City.
Links with Crystal Palace defender Danny Gabbidon have been rubbished from within the club but Freedman does have designs on two new defenders before the close of business next Friday.
Much could now depend on whether Ngog can agree a deal elsewhere – but the fact an offer is now expected from the English top flight has raised expectations that one of the squad’s biggest earners could be moved on.
The 24-year-old has scored three goals in his last four games but has endured a largely miserable time since relegation to the Championship.
He indicated in an interview last summer that he would be open to a return to France, with Bordeaux linked heavily in the French press at the time.
Ngog’s camp have made no secret that he would relish a chance to play in the Premier League again, however, and with Swansea currently missing star striker Michu through injury, Laudrup has identified him as an affordable option.
Wanderers would request only a nominal fee for Ngog, who is out of contract in the summer, meaning a heavy hit on the £4million Owen Coyle paid Liverpool for his services in the summer of 2010, making him the joint-fifth most expensive signing in the club’s history.