By Noel Whelan

26th Sep, 2020 | 6:00pm

'It's no secret' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to massive Leeds transfer update from Athletic

Manchester United could do a deal with Leeds United for Daniel James to free up some transfer funds, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker claimed Manchester United could sell James to free up some money for future business.

The Athletic reported this week that Leeds are ready to move again for the Welshman if Manchester United decide to make him available.

The Yorkshire giants almost signed James in January 2018 before the deal was halted at the last minute by Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.

The 22-year-old eventually signed for Premier League giants Manchester United five months later after Leeds failed to win promotion.

However, he has now fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford and has been left out of Ole Gunnar Sjolskaer’s matchday squad for their last two games.

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Whelan told Football Insider“There’s no secret there that we wanted him and we were very close to getting him.

“He’s gone to Manchester United but he’s not featuring in their plans right now and they’re wanting to do business in the transfer window and this might help free up some money. Not that they need the money, but if a player is not going to be used they might as well utilise him somewhere else.

“It’s no secret we want another winger, Marcelo Bielsa loves his wingers to bolster that front three.

“We’ve got Rodrigo to go with (Patrick) Bamford but have we got that much competition out wide?

“You look at Helder Costa, (Pablo) Hernandez can play out wide but when it comes to out-and-out wingers with experience and a bit more quality, there’s not that much competition there.

“So yes, he would be a fantastic addition. We know the strengths he’s going to bring, we know he’s an exciting player, we know he’s got pace to burn and is the sort of young talent that Bielsa wants to work with.”

In other news, Football Insider can exclusively REVEAL that Leeds United are preparing a last-gasp bid for a Norwich City star man.