Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has told Leeds United target Dan James that he’ll be remaining at Manchester United this summer, according to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.
James was set to join Leeds in January 2019, back when he was still a Swansea City player, but that move collapsed.
The winger, though, has remained on the Whites’ shortlist because of ‘the way he plays’ – his willingness to work as hard without the ball as he does with it.
The £73million arrival in Manchester of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund may have raised Leeds’ hopes that a deal was possible, for it seemed to nudge James further down the pecking order.
James has made 73 appearances for the Red Devils since he joined ahead of the 2019/20 season, scoring nine goals and providing nine assists (via Transfermarkt).
James was ‘told earlier this month’ that he wouldn’t be granted a move away from Old Trafford during the transfer window. Solskjaer explained that the player was ‘fully in his plans’ for the season ahead.
Along with Leeds, Brighton and Hove Albion have been monitoring the Welshman, while Leicester City submitted what was described as a ‘tentative enquiry’.
Ultimately, though, any interest has been rebuffed and each club will have to look elsewhere if they want to add a winger to their ranks.
Even if the two clubs could have reached an agreement, it’s unclear whether James would have been keen on the move. How much would it really have improved his playing prospects when Raphinha and Jack Harrison seemingly have those wide spots locked down?
Still, Leeds appear to have had alternative targets in mind anyway. Talks over a deal for Club Brugge’s Noa Lang are said to be ‘progressing well’.
Whoever comes in, Marcelo Bielsa is clearly chasing a young player who can provide backup to the aforementioned pair without a significant drop-off in quality.
In other news, Leeds have also been urged to strengthen this position.
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