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Jenkins: Why James joined Man Utd and not Leeds

Former Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has revealed how Daniel James joined Manchester United and not Leeds United.

James looked set to join the Whites on transfer deadline day in January 2019, and although he was at Elland Road ready to sign, the Swans opted to pull out of the deal at the 11th hour. He would join United that summer transfer window.

"When I was first invited to run the club the directors gave me a lot of freedom," Jenkins, who has since left Swansea, told WalesOnline.

"We had a good system in place, they had trust in me and provided good support. People like Martin Morgan, Leigh Dineen were excellent.

"With the changes gradually more and more people were getting involved. I recall with Dan James there were six people interfering, trying to make a decision that day.

"I was told a deal was in place for Dan to go to Leeds. It made no sense to me, not for Swansea City financially because there was nothing in it for us.

"As much as others felt the deal could have been done and we could have got something out of it, to me Dan going up to Leeds at the time, risk injury, us rely on a summer transfer, was wrong. I wasn't even sure Leeds would pay the loan fee until the summer.

"I spoke to Graham Potter about it. Remember, part of his mantra was to bring through younger players while making the team competitive.

“Dan was an important part of that. Graham wanted him to remain until the end of the season and play for Swansea. In playing regularly for us, we felt we would get more value out of any future deal.

"Not just for the club financially, but for Dan himself. And, of course, he has done really well at Man Utd and also for Wales.

“Whether he is playing well or not, Dan has this inner spirit, believes he is a good player. That's important, you need that mentality as a Manchester United footballer.

"So Swansea City got a much bigger transfer fee, Dan got a better move. That Leeds business was the final thing I did as Swansea chairman, my parting shot if you like, the last involvement. Although, of course, shortly after I left they also got £20m from Sheffield United for McBurnie.

"We got Dan for £75,000 from Hull, Oli for £100,00 from Bradford. Not a bad bit of business."

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Paul Vegas

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