According to the latest report from Birmingham Live, Southampton are looking to get ahead of Leeds United in signing Daniel James. The Welsh winger has caught the eye of quite a few clubs in the past few months, and the Saints are the latest team to join the race.
The Whites came perilously close in securing the signature of the Swansea City winger, but the Welsh side pulled out at the last moment. Leeds United might feel they were hard done by in the transfer window, but the Swans would be glad that they managed to keep hold of him.
United were close to agreeing on a £10m deal for the 21-year-old. However, after his recent performances, it seems that Swansea can easily fetch more money for him in the transfer market. Moreover, they are also preparing to extend (Wales Online) James’ contract further which should shoot up his price in the summer.
James himself recently gave an update about the contract situation and said, ”There’s a contract situation going on at the minute, but I’m enjoying my football here, in the last few games the way we’ve played has been unbelievable. I’ve just got to keep playing and keep enjoying it. I’m not really involved in it (negotiations), it’s just between my agent and the club, and that’s something that will come out soon.”
We expect the contract situation of the winger to be sorted by the time the season ends. Leeds United are expected to go after him once again, but it could largely depend on them securing a move to the Premier League first.
Why Leeds United need James?
James is a left winger, and that is one area where the Whites don’t have many options. Jack Harrison is Bielsa’s go-to man for that position currently, but the Englishman is just on loan until the end of the season. Moreover, his performances haven’t been too eye-catching, and we don’t expect the club to sign him again.
Ezgjan Alioski started the season as a winger, but he is going to end it as a fullback. The Macedonian is more suited to play in a slightly deeper role, so that leaves the club with only Jack Clarke as a plausible option for that position. Therefore whichever division they might play in the next season, the club would need a left winger.
Can Leeds United beat their competition?
Some heavyweight clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham have also been linked, and now even the Saints have also joined the race. However, the Whites can offer him regular game time which some top clubs might fail to do. Playing under someone like Bielsa can also influence the decision of the player. However, given James’ rise in the last few months, the Whites need to move to the Premier League to have any chance of signing him.