Leeds United backed to repeat Raphinha transfer in £20m Dan James resolution

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cut an especially relaxed figure after his side had defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 on Sunday evening.

The Norwegian was asked about the likelihood of Daniel James – the 23-year-old winger who almost signed for Leeds United in 2019 – leaving the club in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s imminent arrival.

Solskjaer plainly stated the fact that James remained a Manchester United player, whilst also acknowledging certain attackers would see their minutes reduced by the Portuguese international’s return to Old Trafford.

On Sunday night, The Athletic reported that Manchester United are open to offers from various interested clubs for Dan James, who was substituted early into the second half of the win over Wolves.

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It is also claimed that Leeds are one of the interested parties, capable of securing a loan or permanent transfer, suggested to be in the region of £20 million.

This follows Ian Poveda’s departure on loan to Blackburn Rovers for the 2021/22 campaign, meaning a squad place has become available.

Leeds also named nine players aged 22-or-under in their matchday squad to face Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon, including a number of teenagers yet to make Premier League bows.

Any move late in this summer window would resemble the deal which brought Raphinha to Elland Road last October.

The Brazilian was signed for £17 million in the dying stages of the window, after Leeds’ Director of Football Victor Orta was informed of his availability.

Raphinha signs for Leeds United, October 5, 2020

Leeds have been known to be pursuing a winger this summer, however no official bids have been made so far.

The club did hold an interest in Noa Lang, as has been widely reported, but a combination of Club Brugge’s asking price and various other factors ultimately meant Leeds stayed away.

Ronaldo’s Premier League return has been mooted as a set of conditions which may render James expendable at Old Trafford – something which Solskjaer did not deny in his post-match press conference.

“There has been a couple of enquiries for some of our players,” said the Manchester United manager.

“With the signing of Cristiano [Ronaldo] we might give less playing time to a few. Dan [James] is a Manchester United player at the moment.”

The Athletic’s Adam Crafton also claims there may be reservations from James’ side of the negotiating table regarding the optics of a loan move from Manchester United to Leeds.

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