Laudrup signs new Swansea deal
Manager Michael Laudrup has handed Swansea a huge boost by agreeing a one-year extension to his contract at the Liberty Stadium.
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The Dane has enjoyed a superb first season in charge of the Swans, guiding them to Capital One Cup glory and a place in the top half of the Premier League table.
The former Barcelona midfielder's initial deal was set to run out at the end of next season, but his decision to extend his contract through to June 2015 will alleviate fears he would depart for pastures new this summer.
"We've started something this season that I want to continue," Laudrup told the club's official website.
"I know there has been a lot of speculation (about my future), but I've always said that I am happy here and I never had any doubts I would stay."
Laudrup has found himself linked with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, and a recent poll of the fans of the Spanish giants showed 72 per cent wanted him to succeed Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu.
But with a Europa League campaign lying ahead for Swansea next season, Laudrup wants to carry on the good work he has started.
"I am delighted to sign the new deal and I'm already really looking forward to next season," he said.
"I hope there will be some very exciting things happening with the team and with the club in Europe."
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins had long made clear his desire to tie Laudrup to a longer-term deal and provide the club with more security.
Jenkins was particularly wary having seen Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and Brendan Rodgers all leave the south Wales club during their climb through the leagues.
And he is delighted to have agreed terms with his manager as Swansea enjoy arguably the finest season in their 101-year history.
"This is a major boost for everyone involved with Swansea City, from the players, staff and board of directors through to the most important people of all, our supporters," said Jenkins.
"You can never guarantee how things will work out when you employ a new manager, especially after the success we've had in recent seasons, but I think everyone has seen for themselves that Michael has helped take this football club to another level.
"He is a pleasure to work with because he shares the same philosophy as everyone at this football club. He has ensured that we have progressed again this season and I am convinced his knowledge, experience and expertise will ensure we keep moving forward for the next few years."
Laudrup's contract extension is just the latest in a string of new contracts the club have agreed with key personnel.
The likes of top scorer Michu, Leon Britton, Ashley Williams, Wayne Routledge, Ben Davies and Garry Monk have all agreed new deals during the course of the current season.
Full-back Angel Rangel is another to have agreed terms after the club announced a new three-year deal for the Spaniard, securing his services until the summer of 2016.
Rangel said: "I am settled here, I am enjoying my football, I have married a Welsh girl and I'm building a house in Swansea - I feel like a Welshman now.
"I am very happy on a personal and professional level."
Michael Laudrup factfile:
1964: Born June 15 in Frederiksberg, Denmark.
1981: Makes professional debut for KB after joining the club along with his father Finn Laudrup.
1982: Moves back to boyhood club Brondby and helps them to gain promotion back to the Danish top flight where he then scores 15 goals and finishes third top scorer in the league - also winning the Danish Player of the Year award. Becomes second youngest Denmark international when he makes senior debut on his 18th birthday.
1983: Signs for defending Italian champions Juventus after a potential move to Liverpool falls through and is immediately loaned out to Lazio.
1985: Scores only one league goal in a second season on loan at Lazio, who finish bottom of Serie A, before returning to Juventus for the 1985/86 season and picks up his second Danish Player of the Year award.
1986: Wins Serie A title and Intercontinental Cup in his first season playing in Turin.
1989: Joins Johan Cruyff's Barcelona side and becomes part of one of the most successful teams in Spanish football history.
1991: Wins first of four successive Primera Division titles at Barca.
1992: Plays as Barcelona win their first-ever European Cup with an extra-time victory over Sampdoria at Wembley. Makes himself unavailable for selection for Denmark at Euro 92 - a tournament the Danes would go on to win.
1994: Not selected by Cruyff for the Champions League final against AC Milan, which the Italian side win 4-0, and subsequently moves to Barcelona's arch rivals Real Madrid.
1995: Helps Madrid break Barcelona's run of four back-to-back league titles as they win La Liga for the first time since 1990.
1996: Moves to J.League side Vissel Kobe for a single season.
1997: Joins Ajax and wins the Eredivisie title in his final season as a professional footballer.
1998: Captains Denmark to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in France, where they are narrowly beaten by Brazil.
2000: Appointed as assistant coach to Denmark boss Morten Olsen.
2002: Becomes manager of Brondby and guides them to a Danish Cup success in his first campaign at the helm.
2005: Wins the Danish league and cup double.
2006: Guides Brondby to a second-placed league finish but leaves the club after failing to agree a new deal.
2007: Takes managerial job at Getafe and reaches the Copa del Rey final but loses to Valencia and leaves the Madrid club after one season.
2008: Signs an 18-month contract to manage Russian giants Spartak Moscow.
2009: Sacked as Spartak manager in April after just seven months in charge.
2010: Returns to manage in Spain with Real Mallorca and keeps the struggling side in La Liga.
2011: Quits as boss of Mallorca at the start of the 2011/12 season.
2012: June 16 - Appointed Swansea manager on a two-year contract.
2013: February 24 - Guides Swansea to first major silverware in the club's history with 5-0 win over Bradford in Capital One Cup final at Wembley, also booking the Swans a Europa League berth.
March 8 - Signs one-year extension to his contract at the Liberty Stadium.