Leeds’ January pursuit of Swansea winger Daniel James dramatically collapsed last night at the 11th hour.
The pacey 21-year-old was the man that Marcelo Bielsa had been tracking for several months and after he passed a medical yesterday afternoon 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,” according to the Evening Post, but Swansea refused to sanction the transfer.
The two clubs had struck an agreement for the winger to join Leeds on loan until the end of the season and then sign permanently in the summer if the Championship table toppers won promotion. The Beverely-born forward was also desperate to sign for Bielsa.
Leeds had apparently tried to sign James permanently and offered £5million up front for the player after a week of “complicated talks” with another payment due if they were promoted to the Premier League.
However, a loan transfer was settled upon but that deal fell through over “the timing of a loan fee due to Swansea” understood to be in excess of £1million, and the Welsh club’s failure to respond to contact from Elland Road.
United owner Andrea Radrizzani voiced frustration on Twitter, saying: “I am very disappointed like all of @LUFC fans, we did all we could and accepted all requests…but you always need two parties to agree to make a deal and we always had one single target player, none else. We move on and keep fighting in our next 17 finals.”
I am very disappointed like all of @LUFC fans, we did all we could and accepted all requests…but you always need two parties to agree to make a deal and we always had one single target player, none else. We move on and keep fighting in our next 17 finals #MOT 💛💙 Together
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) January 31, 2019
Swansea, however, claimed the two clubs could not agree “suitable terms” and pulled the plug on the transfer.
A statement from City read: “James travelled to Elland Road today to discuss a loan move with a view to a permanent transfer on enhanced terms should the Championship leaders secure promotion to the Premier League.
“However, the clubs could not agree suitable terms and the 21-year-old will return to Swansea.
“Wales international James will be welcomed back into the squad with immediate effect with the goal of continuing his rich vein of form.”
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