WREXHAM manager Denis Smith won't lose any sleep over the sale yesterday of defender Dennis Lawrence to Swansea City for afee believed to be in the region of £75,000.
But the Dragons' boss said he was disappointed by the timing of the move and the chain of events after believing he had done enough to persuade the Trinidad international to stay at the Racecourse.
"We did everything possible to keep him at the club, which included looking at the terms of his present contract and offering to extend it for a further 12 months beyond the end of this season," said Smith.
"I thought we had come to an agreement on that basis, but then Dennis handed in awritten transfer request and Swansea came back with an improved offer so we had little choice but to accept.
"If Dennis had moved during the summer I would have been able to deal with the situation, but the lad I'd earmarked as a replacement has just joined another club and the next on my list is currently injured.
"But we'll cope with the situation and I'd like to wish Dennis all the best for the future."
The 32-year-old's departure paves the way for an instant first-team recall for Shaun Pejic, who played his first competitive match of the season on Tuesday evening when the Dragons reserves went down 2-0 to a strong Manchester City second string.
But the former Wales under-21 international has not played alongside rookie Steve Evans before and a derby day clash with Chester City this Sunday lunchtime is hardly the ideal testing ground for a new partnership.
And while the naturally left-sided Mike Williams is possibly best-suited as a straight replacement for Lawrence, his lack of experience alongside Evans also poses its own risks.
Lawrence, who has signed a two-year contract at the Liberty Stadium, said the chance to join Swansea was too good to turn down.
"It was avery difficult decision but I'm 32 now and it is a great opportunity for me at a higher level of football," he said last night.
"Swansea are an ambitious club and they are pushing hard this year to go up to the Championship and I felt I had to take up what will be a new and
exciting challenge at this stage in my career.
"I've had five-and-a-half great years with Wrexham and Ican't begin to thank the club or the fans enough for the support they have given me.
"The supporters especially have always been behind me even when things were not going so well and I appreciated that very much.
"It's a big decision to uproot my family and move to Swansea, but I felt it was something I had to do."
Lawrence hopes to make his debut in
Saturday's home match against Doncaster Rovers when he is likely to come up against former Racecourse colleague Steve Roberts.
Swansea manager Kenny Jackett, whose side are still seeking a first win of the season, said: "It's a great acquisition for us. Dennis proved in the World Cup just what a quality defender he is and I'm sure he'll make his huge presence felt in the heart of our defence."
Since joining Wrexham in February 2001, Lawrence made a total of 198 appearances and scored 14 goals.