Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has warned Liverpool that Joe Allen will not be sold on the cheap.
The saga over Allen’s potential switch to join former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers at Anfield has rumbled on over recent weeks, and it is understood the Welsh club rejected an offer worth £12.5m last month.
However, Allen’s contract is believed to include a release clause of £15m.
Laudrup is keen to hold onto the Wales international, and is set to have talks with the 22-year-old, who signed a four-year contract at the Liberty Stadium last summer, on Wednesday.
But with Liverpool having paid big money to secure Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing last summer, Laudrup has told the Merseyside club that Allen’s value is on another level.
“He is worth a lot of money because he’s a good player,” said Laudrup.
“The manager knows him and knows if he wants to change the way Liverpool play he needs a player in the midfield like Joe Allen.
“But he also knows he’s very, very expensive. We saw they bought a couple of midfielders in the last few years for a lot of money, but with all due respect Joe is on a level above.
“In my opinion, if one is worth £17m then Joe is worth more, perhaps over £20million. I’m talking as a football man not as a chairman but if the chairman asks my advice then I will tell him the same.”
It is understood the offer Swansea rejected last month included Jonjo Shelvey moving on a season-long loan to the Liberty.
But Laudrup says he will not accept an offer that includes a player not considered first-choice at Anfield.
When asked about the possibility of an exchange, he said: “If we could have (Luis) Suarez ... We have good players here and they have good players, but I can’t see a player not in the starting 11 at Liverpool being in the starting 11 in our team.
“They might want to do it because they can pay less money.”
While Allen continues to be linked with Liverpool, Laudrup is still looking to strengthen his squad, and the Dane says he is closing in on two more additions, believed to be a striker and a winger.
“One is quite close but the other one is more difficult,” he said.
“But I hope he will be an important player for us. He is playing at quite a big club so it’s not that easy. They are both offensive players. One can defend as well.
“We are also working on other alternatives.”