(Reuters) - Swansea City manager Paul Clement is confident Gylfi Sigurdsson remains focused on ensuring the club maintain their Premier League status next season even though the midfielder earlier expressed a desire to play for a “big club”.
The 27-year-old Sigurdsson, who has been linked with a move to Everton in recent weeks, has been vital to Swansea’s bid to avoid relegation, scoring eight goals and providing 11 assists in 29 league appearances.
“It is good for a player to have ambition to play at the highest level, I have no problem with that. Gylfi is highly motivated to help us remain in the league,” Clement told reporters on Thursday.
“We have not spoken about him going elsewhere. It has all been about doing his best for Swansea...He has talent and an unbelievable work ethic and all the best players I have worked with have had that work ethic. That will make him a target for others.”
Swansea have lost three of their last four league games and are just three points above the relegation zone, with Clement hoping to get positive results during the run-in.
“The focus is on...the remaining nine games and at the end of the season we will know what level we are at and plans can develop from there.”
Defenders Martin Olsson and Kyle Naughton have recovered from injury while midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, winger Jefferson Montero and goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt returned from international duty unscathed.
Swansea, who are 17th in the table, host second-bottom Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich