Leeds are close to agreeing a club record transfer worth £30m for Manchester United winger Daniel James, who nearly moved to Elland Road once before in January 2019.
James’ proposed £10m switch to Leeds back then fell through when former club Swansea failed to execute their side of the deal, despite the player even posing with a shirt.
He went on to join Manchester United for £15m a few months later and played 46 times in all competitions in his debut season. But chances for the Wales international were harder to come by last and the arrival of Jadon Sancho, as well as the pending re-signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, is only going to make it even more of a challenge for him to get minutes on the pitch.
Despite starting two of the club’s opening three Premier League games of the season, the decision has been made to let James go and Leeds are willing buyers. Mike McGrath of the Daily Telegraph has reported that the transfer is ‘on the brink’ of completion.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has been seeking another winger for some time and the club had previously considered a summer bid for Wolves wide-man Adama Traore.
Leeds’ existing wing options at the top end of the pitch are Jack Harrison on the left and Raphinha on the right. Stuart Dallas, Junior Firpo and Luke Ayling have also been deployed in wing-back roles.
James is versatile enough that he can operate on either the left or right and will provide additional depth and competition for places as a Leeds side that has taken two points from the opening three games of the season seeks to build on an impressive 2020/21 campaign.
The £30m fee would be a new transfer record for Leeds, surpassing the £26m paid to Valencia for Rodrigo last summer. The record before that had been the £18m paid for Rio Ferdinand in 2000.