Man Utd expected to scupper Leeds transfer plans amid first-teamer concern

Date published: Sunday 25th July 2021 8:36 - Steve Pearson

Rashford.Man_.Utd_.TEAMtalk

Man Utd have been tipped to throw a spanner in a potential Leeds transfer amid concerns a current regular could miss significant time this season, per a report.

After a pursuit that lasted over a year, Man Utd finally landed Jadon Sancho for £73m on Friday. The England winger will bolster an already stacked forward line, but his arrival could see another forward further marginalised.

Welshman Daniel James has never been a regular starter since arriving from Swansea in 2019. Last season saw the 23-year-old handed 26 appearances across all competitions, though the bulk of those came from the bench.

With Sancho’s arrival the worst kept secret in football, James revealed he was considering his future options in early July.

One potential option is to join the club he came within a whisker of joining two years ago – Leeds Utd.

Marcelo Bielsa has always rated James highly. That fact was again recently backed up by the Athletic’s Leeds specialist, Phil Hay.

As such, Leeds are understood to be keen on bringing James to Elland Road either in a loan or permanent transfer capacity.

Brighton have also shown interest, but per the Sun, the pair are set to be denied their wish.

They report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ‘reluctant’ to sanction James’ exit despite his chances of regular gametime looking bleak.

His reasoning stems from the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Rashford. The forward has a long-standing shoulder issue that could require surgery.

The latest reports last week suggested neither the club nor Rashford himself had decided whether to have the operation yet.

But if greenlit, the surgery could see Rashford miss upwards of two months of the campaign.

James’ importance to the squad has therefore risen, and the article claims he could even be handed a new contract to keep him ‘happy as a squad man.’

Solskjaer confirms Man Utd, Pogba in talks

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer QPR v Man Utd July 2021

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has confirmed that Paul Pogba is in discussions over a new contract, amid swirling transfer rumours.

Pogba has seemingly never been far from exit speculation at Old Trafford since signing in 2016. However, such talk has ramped up further now because he is closer to his contract expiring. Indeed, he has entered the final year of his deal and it remains unclear if he will extend or seek a new challenge.

Paris Saint-Germain have therefore emerged as a potential suitor, but supposedly do not want to pay United’s £50million valuation. Speaking after Saturday’s 4-2 pre-season defeat to Queens Park Rangers, Solskjaer addressed the situation.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “Talks are ongoing between Paul’s representative and the club representatives all the dialogue I’ve had with Paul is that he’s looking forward to the season.

“There’s always speculation about Paul, the talks between Paul and his representatives. I’m not in the detail of every single one, I’ve got nothing to say really, about that.

“There’s always speculation about Paul and always clubs being interested and we’ve seen Paul at his best. Paul knows what we feel about it and I’ve enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully we can continue working together.”

READ MORE: Transfer timeline set for star midfielder, but Man Utd talks deal Murtough blow

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