Daniel James has admitted that he was not happy when his transfer from Swansea City to Leeds United fell through late on in the January window last year.
The speedy winger had broken through with the Welsh club in the previous campaign and his form had quickly caught the eye, with the Whites looking to bring him to Yorkshire. As the deadline approached, talks were at a very advanced stage, with James having passed a medical at Thorp Arch and his signing seemed to be a formality.
However, the Swans were reluctant to sign off on the transfer and the deadline eventually passed, with the youngster still in Leeds when he heard the move was off.
And, speaking to the Living The Dream podcast, the Welsh international has opened up on how he felt that day – and he wasn’t best pleased.
“I got to Elland Road about 6pm, did all the pictures with my shirt, all the interviews, because they wanted it to go out in the morning, and then it was strange. It got to about 9pm and I’d signed all the papers and then it was from club-to-club. I had people texting me saying ‘what’s happening?’ and I literally didn’t know.
“It wasn’t until 15 minutes to go until I thought: ‘this might not happen now’. I ended up ringing the chairman [of Swansea] to ask him what’s happening. It was all a bit crazy and then it wasn’t done – I threw my phone. I thought it’s not real.”
James would play out the season with Swansea before moving to Manchester United in the summer.
This will still be a tough one for Leeds to take as they had the deal all sorted but matters out of their hands prevented it from going through.
Therefore, you have to have sympathy for the Championship leaders but it just shows the risk that comes with signing players late on in the window.
Things worked out really well for the player as he got a great move in the summer and whilst Leeds may have gone up with him last season, they are on course to end their long stay outside the Premier League right now.
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