Many Leeds United fans will gladly inform you that promotion would have been guaranteed if they’d have snapped up Swansea flyer Dan James on January deadline day.
The fleet-footed youngster had passed a medical, filmed an intro video and was ready for the reveal. It was a reveal that wasn’t to be. Leeds United’s haggling over loan fee arrangements, changing goalposts was bad enough but we’re compounded by Swansea refusing to pick up the phone to sign off on the deal.
As it was, the deal didn’t go through, James put on a series of shop window wonder shows and is now a new signing for Leeds’ most bitter rivals Manchester United. Lesson learned? Well you’d hope so.
Especially with the club being prominently linked with another flying wideman in the shape of Wolves’ Helder Costa. Leeds United fan interest may be piqued with news that the former record signing is not in the plans of Wolves and that they are willing to listen to offers for him.
If it is a price-to-buy type of deal then, of course, the Whites will be priced right out of the market as Costa won’t be coming in on something resembling a cheap bargain. Quite simply put, he’s not that type of player.
However, there is some talk that United will look to the strong relationship between his agent Jorge Mendes and owner Andrea Radrizanni in order to secure a deal. That deal is most likely, should it break, to be a loan-to-buy purchase wit ha set fee leading to a paid redemption option on promotion.
That was the skeleton of the James deal with Swansea, Leeds United managed to disarticulate that deal with some last-minute fiddling. Should Costa reach that stage, then the Whites need to wake up and smell the coffee and get a deal done – sharpish!