Leicester City have been linked with a move for Manchester United winger Dan James ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
According to Manchester Gazzette reporter Paul Swinson, the Foxes are interested in acquiring the 23-year-old’s services as they look to add some strength in depth to their first-team squad over the summer.
It’s reported that the Red Devils are unlikely to retain James for the 2021/22 campaign if Jadon Sancho arrives from Borussia Dortmund, with a loan deal including an option to buy anticipated.
Rodgers must avoid
Brendan Rodgers guided his Leicester side to their maiden FA Cup crown this season, defeating Chelsea 1-0 in the showpiece event at Wembley Stadium.
However, a defeat to the Blues in the league, and fellow losses to Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, meant the Midlands outfit won just one of their final four Premier League fixtures, ensuring they narrowly missed out on a Champions League qualification spot once again.
It was a cruel ending to an otherwise excellent campaign for the Midlands outfit but serious injuries to the likes of Harvey Barnes, James Justin, Wilfried N’didi and James Maddison at various points throughout the season hampered their progress.
The 2016 English champions have consistently punched above their weight since Rodgers arrived two and a half years ago, but breaking into the top four is still an achievement that has eluded them under the Northern Irish manager.
Compared to their rivals at the upper echelons of the top-flight, Leicester have relatively modest resources and have founded their success on smart work in the transfer market, often buying young stars full of potential for low prices before selling them on for an astronomical profit.
However, James does not fit into that category. The Wales international has showcased his lighting God-given pace, an incredible work rate and an ability to press intelligently during his two-year stay at Old Trafford but has often struggled to make a meaningful impact upon games, especially with the ball at his feet.
The youngster has scored just nine goals and provided a further nine assists in 71 appearances for United, not a terrible return but certainly not of the level that Leicester require to close the gap on their more affluent competitors.
Rodgers is perhaps, understandably, looking for someone to replicate the sheer speed and directness that Barnes offered in abundance before he was sidelined with a knee injury, although the £45,000-per-week James is not the solution.
While Barnes offers an end product and bags of potential to go alongside his natural assets, the same can’t be said about James, and if Rodgers pursues a deal for the £16.2m-rated forward (as per Transfermarkt), it would be a big mistake.