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Manchester United targeting Swansea City starlet Daniel James; Liverpool also interested – United frontrunners?

Manchester United have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to sign young Swansea City star Daniel James this summer. The 21-year-old winger was close to securing a deadline day move to Leeds United back in January but the Welsh club pulled out of the deal, which may become a big loss for the Yorkshire club.

James has continued to put in some great performances for his club which has seen the likes of United and Liverpool as credited with an interest in the young Welshman. United, under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will be seeking to rebuild the Old Trafford club this summer after another poor season, six years after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Reports state that United have kept tabs on the youngster, checking on his versatility, with a mind that he could play on the right-wing for United, which is a position the club has struggled with for more than six years. The player, according to the report, is also aware that United are interested in him. It is also suggested that rivals for James’ signature this summer are ‘resigned to missing out, fearing he could be Old Trafford bound’.

The 21-year-old has a year remaining on his Swansea contract and is valued at around £10 million, which could be a good bit of business for United, who really should have started this recruitment policy a number of years ago after signing already established players has just not worked out as well as it may have been thought. The player was left out of the final match of the season, the 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, presumably aiming to keep him free of injury ahead of a possible transfer.

James saw a video of a goal he scored, against Brentford in the Emirates FA Cup, go viral earlier this year, adding to that by scoring the winner for Wales against Slovakia back in March, which will have given the player a hint of just where his career and he talent could take him. Wales manager and former United legend, Ryan Giggs, has spoken about James and he could well be an influence in his future. Giggs said:

“He’s a talent. When you’ve got that raw pace, you’re a threat at any level so as a winger, obviously for me playing as a winger, when I was younger, you then have to develop the other parts of your game which I feel he is doing.

“He’s played up front as well which will help him because that gives you an appreciation of what you need to do.”

James has played 38 matches for Swansea City in three competitions; Championship, Carabao Cup and FA Cup, for Swansea this season, playing more than 2,500 minutes of football, scoring five goals for his club, assisting four more goals, also scoring his debut goal for Wales in March. James has predominantly played as a left-sided attacking midfielder but has also played on the right, among other positions.

The 21-year-old has many strengths, including; holding onto the ball, passing, through balls, key passes and dribbling. He does also have weaknesses, including; aerial duels and his defensive contribution. The player also likes to cut inside, plays short passes and does not dive into tackles although he is fouled often.

It is refreshing to see that United may not be focussing on the already established players in football. The best way to rebuild United is to look for players who will do a job in the squad. Ones that will work hard and will be happy to pull on the red shirt of the club and put in their best performances for the club week in and week out. This is not something that can be said for some of the petulant players currently at the Old Trafford club.

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