Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly among the sides interested in signing Swansea City attacker Dan James – but could their interest be because of Mauricio Pochettino’s fondness for Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa?
Leeds came within a whisker of signing 21-year-old James in January. The Wales international passed a medical at Elland Road and is even said to have picked his shirt number.
However, a move fell through with Swansea opting not to pick up the phone in the dying moments of deadline day. It saw a proposed loan move, before an obligatory £10million move fail to materialise (Wales Online).
Now, the race for James has hotted up. His goal tally has improved since the turn of the year, and his debut goal for Wales in his first start during a 1-0 win over Slovakia instantly turned heads.
Wales Online claim Tottenham have joined Premier League sides Manchester City, AFC Bournemouth and Leicester City in keeping tabs on the youngster. Leeds are also said to be planning another move in the summer.
Pochettino was quoted by The Mail back in November as saying: “‘He’s [Bielsa] like my second father. We were also together at Espanyol and in the national team. I owe him everything.”
The Spurs boss is obviously a big admirer of Bielsa. But could Bielsa’s interest in Swansea winger James have brought the speed machine to Pochettino’s attention ahead of the summer window?
Tottenham have been interested in a number of Championship players this season. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen and Blackburn’s Bradley Dack have all been mentioned.
But since Bielsa has taken over, reports over potential transfers between Leeds and Spurs have flown. Juan Foyth has been linked with Leeds, while Kalvin Phillips and Jack Clarke are said to be on Spurs’ shortlist.
Rumours, but perhaps no smoke without fire. It could be that Bielsa’s presence at Leeds has seen Pochettino pay close attention, and that could have led the Argentine boss to Swansea’s James.