Daniel James becomes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first Manchester United signing

Manchester United have completed the signing of Wales winger Daniel James from Swansea.

The 21-year-old has signed a five-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year, to become manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing at Old Trafford.

The deal is worth a reported £15million.

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 12, 2019

James, a graduate of the Swansea academy, scored five goals and made 10 assists in 38 appearances during an impressive 2018-19 campaign in which he broke into the Championship side’s first team.

Solskjaer told United’s website: “Daniel is an exciting young winger with lots of skills, vision, exceptional pace and a good work ethic. He had a great season with Swansea City and has all the attributes needed to become a Manchester United player.

“We are delighted he has signed with our club and we are all looking forward to working with him. This is the perfect environment for Daniel to continue his development.”

James, who joined Swansea at the age of 16, took his chance to shine after being given an opportunity following the club’s relegation from the Premier League a year ago.

Such was his progress that he was close to joining promotion-chasing Leeds in January, only for a potential move to collapse.

He continued to be linked with other clubs, including Premier League Brighton, but United became clear favourites after expressing interest this summer.

A move was expected last month but the sudden death of the player’s father and international duty meant it was put on hold for a few weeks.

James said: “This is one of the best days of my life and a challenge I am really looking forward to. The Premier League is the best league in the world and Manchester United is the perfect place for me to continue to develop as a player.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me and my family, however, it is tinged with sadness that my father isn’t able to share this experience with us. I am looking forward to working with Ole, meeting the team and getting started.”

Daniel James has made a big impact since breaking into the Swansea team in 2018-19
James has made a big impact since breaking into the Swansea team in 2018-19 (Simon Galloway/PA)

James only made his debut for Swansea in February 2018 and the Welsh club are sorry to see him leave so early in his career.

Chairman Trevor Birch told the club’s website: “We are obviously hugely disappointed to lose a player of Daniel’s quality, especially after such a fantastic breakthrough season for us and the enjoyment he gave to those watching him.

“However, given the level of those performances and the fact he has one year remaining on his contract, it was inevitable that once a club of the calibre of Manchester United came calling it would be virtually impossible to hold on to him.

“Everyone at the club cannot speak highly enough of Daniel, not just as a footballer but also as a person. His development is also great testament to the work our coaches have done in nurturing his talent since he arrived at our academy as a 16-year-old.

“It goes without saying that we wish him well at his new club, especially after the sad loss of his father recently.”