THIS IS the moment Manchester United star Daniel James thought he had signed for Leeds – before the transfer was pulled at the last minute by Swansea City.
The 21-year-old was on the verge of swapping South Wales for Yorkshire earlier this year in a £10million move.
The Kingston-born winger, identified by Leeds as the man to fire them to the Premier League, travelled to Thorp Arch training ground on January 31 where he underwent and passed a medical.
James then travelled to Elland Road where he posed for club photos, started to sign parts of his new contract and discussed potential properties to live within the Leeds area.
He even agreed to wear the No 21 shirt – with replicas printed up by club officials.
Everything was in place but over the course of the night, Swansea chiefs started to ignore text messages and phone calls.
And come the 11pm deadline it was not finalised due to political problems at Swansea and a split in their boardroom over whether or not to sell their best player to a Championship rival.
The final scenes of the collapsed transfer are shown today in episode three of the Amazon Prime Video documentary Take Us Home, which charts Leeds’ 2018-19 Championship campaign under manager Marcelo Bielsa.
FRANTIC LAST-MINUTE CHAOS
Leeds were confident they could sign James in the summer but in the end he was sold to Man Utd on a five-year contract.
Leeds CEO Angus Kinnear said: “At five minutes to 11 we were trying to apply for the 15-minute extension to get the paperwork done on the basis that someone, somewhere in Wales was going to answer one of my phone calls.
“We really didn’t get any sight of the fact it wasn’t going to happen until the last hour.
“And that has never happened to me on a transfer before.
“Whilst from the fans’ perspective it clearly looked like a f*** up, I think we were just the unwitting victim of boardroom politics at the Swansea end.
“It was unfortunate that because we couldn’t make the deal work for Daniel in the end. It would have been a good deal for him and his family and from a footballing perspective.”
Victor Orta, the Leeds Director of Football, broke down in tears when the transfer fell through.
He raged: “After this situation, nobody wins. Because Swansea have a player after this episode, it’s really difficult. The player cannot get his dream. And Leeds can’t get this player.
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“They want this? Yes. They want this? Yes. They want this? Yes.
“Respect your player. Because you give permission to make the medical. We are talking about people.
“This is with people that have feelings and today is one of the most tough moments that I have watched a player of 20-years-old and his father…it never happened in my career.”
This post written by Sam Morgan originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.