Is Premier League title race set to be wide open?
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Over two years after his failed move from Swansea to Leeds, Dan James is expected to complete his switch to Elland Road on deadline day with Manchester United willing to sell on a permanent deal. But James’ arrival at Leeds this summer will reportedly leave Marcelo Bielsa with a decision to make on Helder Costa.
It was one of the most bizarre transfer stories in recent years when James failed to join Leeds back in January 2019.
A deal looked to be signed and sealed in the final hours of the transfer window with James in the building and holding up his new Leeds shirt.
But, despite terms being agreed on an initial loan deal, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins reportedly failed to answer Leeds’ repeated calls to complete the final formalities.
Footage from behind the scenes of the failed transfer was shown on Amazon Prime’s ‘Take Us Home: Leeds United’ documentary.
JUST IN: Leeds in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Dan James as negotiations continue
Just six months later and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer swooped in to sign the Wales international with James making an instant impact at Old Trafford.
His minutes have diminished over the past year though while the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo have pushed him further down the pecking order.
That alerted the attention of Leeds over the weekend, who have maintained an interest in James since 2019.
The Athletic now report that a deal has been agreed in principle with James set to undergo a medical.
Bielsa has been desperate to add another winger to his squad this summer and James resolves that issue.
But the imminent arrival of James could reportedly see Costa leave Elland Road on deadline day.
The 27-year-old dropped down the pecking order at Leeds last season after Raphinha joined.
And Costa’s poor form could see Leeds try and offload him in the final few hours of the summer transfer window.
Leeds have recovered since losing 5-1 to United on the opening day of the season with two draws against Everton and Burnley.
Their first game back after the international break though will be a tough test at home against Liverpool.
There was initially some concern that Raphinha would miss out on the match against Jurgen Klopp’s side after he was selected in Brazil’s squad.
But he’s since been blocked from travelling with Brazil due to UK government restrictions on those returning from red list countries.
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