Swansea boss Graham Potter says contract talks with Dan James are not progressing well after hinting at the true reason the winger’s move to Leeds collapsed.
The 21-year-old, who showed lightning pace to score against Brentford in the FA Cup on Sunday, was the man that Marcelo Bielsa had been tracking for several months and, after he passed a medical on transfer deadline day it looked as though the Whites had got their man.
James was even “sat at Elland Road waiting to be unveiled when the January transfer deadline passed at 11pm,” but Swansea refused to sanction the transfer as the deadline came and went without the deal going through.
James’ agent David Manasseh has pointed the finger at City for the collapse of the deal over the financial part of the transfer.
The Swans pulled the plug on the deal after initially backtracking on the agreement they had struck with Leeds – which would have seen the winger move to Elland Road on an initial loan deal, before a permanent transfer in the summer.
The row centres around the monies Leeds were due to send Swansea, but with Bielsa’s side happy to change their payment structure, Swansea went cold and refused to take the Yorkshire side’s phone calls.
Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay tweeted: “Leeds’ initial plan was to pay the whole £1.5m loan fee in June. Swansea (understandably) wanted £750k up front, £750k in the summer.”
James gave Leeds a glimpse of what they were missing yesterday with a brilliant solo goal after sprinting the full length of the field before coolly finishing and afterwards Potter hailed the jet-heeled star.
“Dan’s not playing against bad players, they’re not physically weak defenders, but he leaves them for dust,” said Potter.
Look at the pace here from Dan James 😳
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) February 17, 2019
“The ability to sprint repeatedly, it’s as high a level as you’re going to see. He’s got lots to work on but he had an end product today and I thought he was sensational.”
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear confirmed last week that Leeds still hold out hope of signing James in the summer, and Swansea and Potter are trying to tie the player, who has 18 months left on his contract, to a new deal.
Asked if Swansea wanted to keep James, Potter said: “The answer is yes but it’s not as simple as that.
“All parties have to agree. It’s a process. You have to make sure everybody’s happy.”
Potter then insisted he could only see the Wales international leaving for a Premier League side if he did leave Swansea. “I would say certainly yes, if he was going to move anywhere,” Potter said.
“My responsibility as a head coach is to help him play football, carry on with his career and reach his potential because he’s still got a lot to do.”
Potter also praised James’ reaction to the breakdown of the move to Leeds and hinted that Swansea got cold feet when they suddenly realised they were undervaluing James.
“You forget that these things happen in transfer windows where clubs don’t agree a price,” added Potter. “You can see why on that performance, the numbers are too low, that’s the reality in my opinion.”
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