Premier League

Fletcher has surgery on ankle

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Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:35:00

Swansea have unveiled plans to increase the capacity of the Liberty Stadium by over 12,000.

As they near the end of a second solid season in the Premier League, the club hope to take advantage of encouraging profits by increasing the capacity from 20,500 to 33,000.

The club have submitted their plans to the local council, and if passed they aim to have the work completed within five years.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Swansea City has lodged a formal planning application to the City and County of Swansea for the comprehensive expansion of the Liberty Stadium.

"The works proposed would see the extension of the North, South and East stands of the stadium in a phased manner over the next three to five years.

"The proposals seek to capitalise on the success of the football club during their first two seasons in the Barclays Premier League; help consolidate this status and remain part of the top flight for many years to come.

"Works that are proposed for the stadium would look to increase its capacity by approximately 11,000 spectators."

Recent reports have suggested Liverpool are close to landing the highly-rated playmaker at the end of the season after courting his services for some time.

Eriksen's future at Ajax has been the subject of conjecture for some time with all of the top clubs across Europe linked with the talented Dane.

The 21-year-old has impressed for Ajax again this season, scoring 12 goals this term and he is the current Dutch Footballer of the Year.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to bolster his attacking options and Eriksen is believed to be one of his top targets this summer.

However, Ajax insist no deal has been agreed with Liverpool for the Denmark international's signature.

"We will send out a press release when there is an agreement," Ajax press manager Eefje Schep told Danish TV2.

"Also if there is only a deal between Ajax and the club. So at this time there is no agreement between Ajax and Liverpool."

Ajax are resigned to losing Eriksen this summer with the classy attacker turning down the club's offer of a new deal.

Ajax technical director Marc Overmars has reiterated that Eriksen, who has one-year running on his current deal at the Amsterdam ArenA, has rejected the chance to extend his contract.

"Christian has informed us that he won't be signing a new deal with us at this time," Overmars told Voetbal International. "I think that he and his agent will want to see what options are available in the summer."

The 26-year-old Scotland international had an operation on Monday and is now targeting a swift as possible return to ensure he is available for the start of the new campaign.

Fletcher, a ?12million summer signing from Wolves, remains the club's leading scorer for this season, but has missed the last three games after damaging ankle ligaments on international duty last month.

The Black Cats are yet to reveal details of his recovery period. News of the frontman's absence for the remainder of the season was announced on the same day as skipper Lee Cattermole was ruled out with a persistent knee problem, and represented a major blow to then manager Martin O'Neill with the club fighting for Premier League survival.

O'Neill revealed at the time that he was hopeful Fletcher would not need surgery, but admitted it was a possibility if the ankle did not settle down with treatment and rest.

The Ulsterman was replaced by Paolo Di Canio on March 31 with the newcomer well aware he would be without the man most likely to fire the Black Cats out of trouble.

In the circumstances, he challenged the rest of his players to come up with the goals to keep them in the top flight, and received the perfect response on Sunday when Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan struck to secure a famous 3-0 derby victory at Newcastle.

However, Sunderland remain only three points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play despite Wigan's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday night, and Latics still have a game in hand on their fellow relegation contenders.

The Black Cats entertain high-flying Everton at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, when anything other than three points could dissipate the euphoria of their heroics on Tyneside.

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