Former Swansea City chairman has once again revisited the saga regarding Daniel James’ failed move to Leeds United in January 2019.
As reported by the Yorkshire Post, James had passed a medical at Thorp Arch and was ready to be unveiled in January before a deal collapsed. Then Swansea chairman Jenkins pulled the plug on the deal and Leeds were without their main January target.
The Guardian later reported that James was left ‘devastated’ at the move falling apart. The Yorkshire born talent desperately wanted the Leeds deal to go through. It was an ordeal that was captured as part of Amazon’s Leeds United: Take Us Home documentary.
James went on to have a stellar end to the season with Swansea and Manchester United signed him last summer in a deal worth an eventual £15 million, as reported by The Telegraph.
Speaking to Wales Online this week Jenkins, who resigned the day after the James deal collapsed, suggested he has no regrets for his part in harpooning the Leeds United deal.
“With the changes gradually more and more people were getting involved. I recall with Dan James there were six people interfering, trying to make a decision that day.
“I was told a deal was in place for Dan to go to Leeds. It made no sense to me, not for Swansea City financially because there was nothing in it for us.
“As much as others felt the deal could have been done and we could have got something out of it, to me Dan going up to Leeds at the time, risk injury, us rely on a summer transfer, was wrong. I wasn’t even sure Leeds would pay the loan fee until the summer.
“I spoke to Graham Potter about it. Remember, part of his mantra was to bring through younger players while making the team competitive. Dan was an important part of that. Graham wanted him to remain until the end of the season and play for Swansea. In playing regularly for us, we felt we would get more value out of any future deal.”
In fairness to Jenkins, he was right.
As reported by The Telegraph, the deal for James would have been a £1.5 million initial loan agreement, rising to £10 million. The deal would have been made permanent should Leeds have won promotion. The BBC later suggested that the loan fee would have also been deferred until the summer and Leeds would pay the rest of the £8.5 million over three years.
Leeds ended up falling short which, of course, had James made the move, may not have been the case.
But as far as Swansea were confirmed, the deal involving James heading to Leeds simply made no sense in Jenkins’ mind.
Leeds United will now be hoping to join James and their age-old rivals in the Premier League next season.