In a deal which seemingly came completely out of the blue, Swansea City captain Matt Grimes decided this past week to commit his future to the Welsh club for the next four years.
That may have come as a surprise to Swansea fans who probably expected their captain to assess his options in the January transfer window, with a plethora of Premier League clubs said to be interested in his signature this past summer but in the end nothing came to fruition.
In-fact the only club who seemed to be set on bringing the midfielder to their club were Swansea’s league rivals Fulham, who made a late summer play for the 26-year-old.
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The Cottagers’ advances were rebuffed though and a final bid in excess of £2.5 million was turned down, meaning Grimes remained a Swansea player beyond the end of August.
Playing regularly in Russell Martin’s system has clearly swayed Grimes’ decision to sign a new deal with the Swans and he has now publicly spoke out on the summer transfer saga for the first time after penning the fresh contract.
“It was fairly close, everything was close on the last day,” Grimes said on a potential move to Fulham.
“It was never a case of me trying to force it through and wanting to leave.
“There was a conversation in the morning and it looked like it was going to go ahead and then really quickly turned.”
So Fulham very nearly did get their man but for whatever reason the hierarchy at the Liberty Stadium pulled the plug on it.
It may be the best decision they’ve made for a while as Grimes looks like he fits right in under Martin in his free-flowing passing system.
Swansea ended up selling both Connor Roberts and Jamal Lowe on deadline day so maybe the funds from those deals meant that there was no need to dispose of Grimes as well – losing three key players on one day would have seriously angered the fanbase.
But Grimes was clearly more crucial than the other two that departed and Martin is set to reap the rewards of keeping the midfield dynamo around for the long-term.