Manchester United have confirmed in a statement released on June 7 that it has reached a deal in principle with Championship side, Swansea City, to sign exciting teenage winger, Daniel James, in a deal believed to have cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side £15 million plus £3 million in add-ons to bring the total transfer fee to £18 million.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce that it has agreed, in principle, terms with both Swansea City and Daniel James for his transfer to the club,” wrote the club on its website. “Daniel has successfully completed a medical at the Aon Training Complex. Further details will be communicated once the international transfer window opens next week.”
We're delighted to have agreed terms, in principle, with Swansea City for the transfer of Daniel James to #MUFC.
Further details will be revealed in due course.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 7, 2019
The deal would make James 21-year-old James the first signing for the Red Devils senior team and see him compete for a starting shirt with the likes of Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard as he plays primarily as a left winger, playing 22 out of 31 league games in that position for Swansea last season.
But what else is there to know about Solskjaer’s first signing of the 2019 summer transfer window?
1 He could have been playing for another United
James is all set to become a Manchester United player this summer but in January 2019, he was ever so close to signing for Red Devils’ local rivals, Leeds United, in a loan deal on deadline day of the winter transfer window in a deal that would have seen the winger signed on a permanent basis for £8.5 million if Leeds gained promotion to the Premier League.
However, a disagreement late in negotiations between both clubs over the payment of the loan fee saw the transfer collapse even though James had reportedly completed a medical with Leeds in view of leaving the Welsh club for Elland Road. United fans, Manchester’s that is, would be grateful the deal collapsed.
2 James impressed in match against Mikel Obi’s Middlesbrough
United’s new signing earned the penalty for Matt Grimes’ first half opener before being taken off for Luciano Narsingh in the 69th minute of a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough in the Championship in April 2019, a match in which Super Eagles midfielder, John Mikel Obi, played all 90 minutes for Boro.
Having also played half an hour in a goalless draw against Boro earlier in the season, James helped Swansea pick up four points against the Teeside club which ended up missing out on a place in the Championship Promotion playoffs by a single point.
3 Manchester City made to sweat by James and co in FA Cup
The domestic quadruple won by Manchester City in 2018/19 was so close to not being a reality as Daniel James and his Swansea City team-mates were a thorn in the flesh of the Premier League champions and came ever so close to knocking Pep Guardiola’s side out of the competition when both teams met in the quarter-final stage.
James played all 90 minutes as goals from Grimes and Bersant Celina within nine minutes of the first half gave the Swans a 2-0 lead over a star-studded City side, which rallied in the second half following the introductions of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero to claim a dramatic 3-2 win thanks to Aguero’s 89th minute goal.
4 Trouble for three Manchester United stars
James imminent arrival to Old Trafford will be bad news for three Manchester United stars – Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard – as the 21-year-old forward will be competing with them for a place in the starting line-up of Solskjaer and his goals contribution from 2018/19 backs up his stake for a place in the first team.
In 38 appearances for Swansea in all competitions, James scored five goals and provided 10 assists for a haul of 15 goals contribution, a record matched by only one of the three Red Devils stars mentioned.
Martial also had a 15-goal season in all competitions for the Red Devils in 2018/19, scoring 12 goals and providing three assists in 38 appearances.
Lingard on his part managed just a nine-goal contribution as he scored five goals and provided four assists in 36 matches while Sanchez finishes bottom on the list with his six-goal contribution (two goals and four assists) which came in 27 appearances.
5 James joins United not long since making professional debut
The Red Devils have paid top dollar (pounds in fact) for Daniel James even though he has only been a professional footballer for just over a year having made his professional debut for Swansea in February as a late substitute and scoring a goal in an 8-1 demolition of Notts County in the 2017/18 FA Cup.
It was his only appearance that season before establishing himself in the Swansea first team the following season as he made 38 appearances and impressed the hierarchy at Old Trafford enough to sign off on spending £18 million for his signature despite him having just a year left on his contract at the Swans.
For such a young footballer, how do you rate United’s signing of Daniel James? Will he become a star for the Red Devils immediately or in the future?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.