Dan James will not be loaned out or sold by Manchester United this summer according to inside sources at the club.
With the arrival of Jadon Sancho and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments yesterday about Amad Diallo being likely to stay at the club this season, it was widely believed that James could be on his way out after failing to progress since his arrival from Swansea two years ago.
But according to The Athletic, Solskjaer has rebuffed approaches from a number of clubs and insists that James is going nowhere.
‘James is not available for transfer despite there being more than a week left of the window and United needing to sell before buying,’ reporter Laurie Whitwell claims.
‘Solskjaer likes James for his attitude and application to the tactics. He is a different option thanks to his speed and is totally dependable from a manager’s perspective.’
The news will come as a blow to many United fans. In a recent poll on the Peoples Person Facebook page, most thought James should be moved on.
Despite the stance adopted by the United manager, the Athletic’s report does suggest that there is a price tag on James’ head of £25 million, ‘suggested by people in the industry’. Whether or not Solskjaer would re-evaluate his position if such an offer were to arrive is unknown, but all enquiries so far have been rebuffed.
‘The way James plays has kept him on [Leeds manager Marcelo] Bielsa’s transfer list despite the collapse of his prospective move to Elland Road in January 2019.
‘James has also been monitored by Brighton & Hove Albion, whose manager Graham Potter worked with the winger during his breakthrough at Swansea City.
‘The Athletic has been told that Leicester City made a tentative enquiry this summer, too. Leicester have been active in the market and looked at whether James could be added to an impressive clutch of signings.
‘Brendan Rodgers wants a winger and although the preference is for a left-footer to play on the right, James has a versatility that appeals.’
How many games that James will get this season in the Red Devils’ top-heavy squad remains to be seen. If the previous two seasons are a measure of things to come, it could be more than might be expected for a player of his calibre.