The 21-year-old was on the verge of swapping Swansea City for Yorkshire in January for a £10million move.
The Sun says James then travelled to Elland Road where he posed for club photos, started to sign parts of his new contract and discussed potential properties to live within the Leeds area.
He even agreed to wear the No 21 shirt – with replicas printed up by club officials.
Everything was in place but over the course of the night, Swansea chiefs started to ignore text messages and phone calls.
And come the 11pm deadline it was not finalised due to political problems at Swansea and a split in their boardroom over whether or not to sell their best player to a Championship rival.
Leeds United's documentary shows how close Daniel James was to signing for them in January.— Manchester United Updates (@mnuupdates) August 16, 2019
Swansea City chairman, who eventually left in March, seems to have plugged the deal at the very last moment. Since then, Daniel James stayed at Swansea City and moved to United.#mufc#VKpic.twitter.com/FpU3YRvpSe