Manchester United’s move for Dan James only materialised after they were priced out of transfer for Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser, according to a report.
United on Friday night revealed that they had agreed a deal in principle for Swansea winger James to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first summer signing.
It is understood that United will pay Swansea £18million, including add-ons, for the 21-year-old player, with the move expected to be formally completed on Tuesday, when FIFA’s international transfer window – the Transfer Matching System – opens.
James though, who scored five goals and laid on five assists in the Championship last season, was not Solskjaer’s first choice with the United boss keen on Fraser.
The London Evening Standard claim Solskjaer made an enquiry to Bournemouth about Fraser’s availability but were told it would cost them over £40million to sign the Scotland winger, who has also been interesting Arsenal.
United were apparently not too keen on paying that price for the 25-year-old despite only Eden Hazard having more assists in the Premier League last season than Fraser, who managed 14 and also scored seven goals.
Instead United went for the cheaper and younger alternative in James, leaving the way clear for Arsenal to firm up their interest.
He said: “I’ve got a year left. There’s a very good chance I’ll be here next season.”