Swansea City manager Graham Potter has told Daniel James to ignore speculation about his future amid plans at Leeds United to sign the winger before next week’s transfer deadline.
Potter described the attention on 21-year-old James as “unfair” and said he was unaware of Leeds’ interest in the Wales international.
United want to sign a new winger before the transfer window closes next Thursday and identified Beverley-born James as their top target earlier in the month.
The Elland Road club are yet to make a concrete bid for James but are understood to have been in contact with Swansea and are looking for discussions over a fee.
James, who move to Swansea from Hull City’s academy, is midway through his first season in the Championship having been handed his league debut by Potter.
His contract ends in 18 months’ time, however, and Swansea have not yet offered him an extension. The Welsh club are currently seeking to cut their wage bill but would prefer to lose higher-earning players.
Speaking at his press conference today, Potter said: “This has been Dan's breakthrough season. He’s made 12 starts for us so it's a bit unfair that he's exposed to this.
“Dan's an important player for us. He's come through our academy and we must remember that this time last year he couldn't get a game (on loan) at Shrewsbury.
“He just carries on with his work, enjoys his football and wants to help the team. The rest is transfer window speculation.”
Potter admitted he was in the dark about Leeds’ intentions but joked that the ‘Spygate’ controversy surrounding United might have swollen their transfer budget.
“I haven't heard anything so I don't know,” he said. “Maybe Leeds have saved themselves some money, trimming the spy budget.
“It just emerges from somewhere and then we have to speak about it. That's no criticism of Leeds because they have not mentioned anything.”