Former Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has gone into detail about why he pulled the plug on Daniel James’ move to Leeds United last January.
James, 22, was in Leeds and waiting to get the all-clear from Swansea ahead of joining the Yorkshire giants on loan until the end of the season with the view to a permanent move.
However Jenkins torpedoed the deal as he now claims that he wasn’t sure if Leeds would be paying a loan fee for the winger, who now plays for Manchester United in the Premier League.
“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,” Jenkins told WalesOnline.
“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.”
It is fair enough for Jenkins to worry about James getting an injury and rely on Leeds buying him outright in the summer but the transfer market is all about risks.
But one risk he should not have taken was the fee. Swansea should have expected an upfront fee from Leeds and it is strange that the ex-Swans chief wasn’t sure if his club were going to receive that.
Perhaps that is down to a breakdown in communication in South Wales, rather than in West Yorkshire.
Jenkins continued to say that at the end of the day, he believes Swansea got the better deal by his decision to pull the plug on Leeds’ loan move for James as he’s now a crucial part of the Man United squad.
“He has done really well at Man Utd and also for Wales,” Jenkins added. “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.”
Thanks, Huw. It was nice to know that your final act at Swansea was to break the hearts of all us Leeds fans who were so desperate to see James play for Marcelo Bielsa.
He would have been sensational if that move happened and the Whites might already be a Premier League club now.
In other Leeds United news, Jermaine Beckford was baffled when Bielsa signed this player.