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Wednesday 21
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Swansea City

Birch - Always difficult to keep James

12th June 2019, 17:18 by Tom McGarry

Swansea chairman Trevor Birch admits it was always going to be tough to keep Daniel James once Manchester United showed an interest.

Wales international James completed his reported £15million move to United on Wednesday and put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract at Old Trafford.

A number of other Premier League clubs were linked with James, who enjoyed a breakthrough season with Swansea last term, featuring 38 times across all competitions.

Birch admits it is a huge blow to lose a player of James' talents, but they could not stand in the 21-year-old's way once United matched their valuation, particularly as the Swans are still balancing the books following relegation from the top flight in 2018.

"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," Birch told the Swansea website.

"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.

"We have spoken on numerous occasions how important it is for this football club to put itself back on a sound financial footing following relegation. This transfer will help us do that and continue the rebuilding process."

James is the fifth senior player to leave the Swans this summer, following the departures of Wilfried Bony, Leroy Fer, Luciano Narsingh and Martin Olsson, while the Welsh club are still yet to replace manager Graham Potter, who left for Brighton last month.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.

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