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Daniel James could still miss Euro 2020 qualifiers despite Wales call-up

The Swansea winger has been linked with a £15million move to Manchester United this summer.

Daniel James
Daniel James

Daniel James could still miss Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifiers next month following the death of his father, despite being named in Ryan Giggs’ squad on Wednesday.

James missed Wales’ training camp in Portugal last week after being granted compassionate leave following the death of his father Kevan.

But the exciting Swansea winger, who has been strongly linked with a £15million summer move to Manchester United, has told Giggs that he wants to be part of the Euro 2020 double-header in Croatia and Hungary.

Wales v Slovakia – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Cardiff City Stadium
Daniel James (left) celebrates scoring Wales’ winner against Slovakia in March with Gareth Bale (Darren Staples/PA)

“When I spoke to him he said to keep me in mind for the games,” Giggs said after naming James in his 28-man squad for the two Group E qualifiers.

“He said he wanted to meet up in north Wales and be part of the games.

“For me, football comes second in these situations and it’s a case of whatever Dan chooses.

“But as a manager, it’s great for me to have him, considering what he’s done in the last six months.”

Ryan Giggs File Photo
Manager Ryan Giggs is hopeful Daniel James will be available for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Croatia and Hungary (Nick Potts/PA)

With the date of his father’s funeral yet to be arranged, however, James’ presence in Osijek and Budapest is not guaranteed.

Asked if James could still miss one or both games, Giggs replied: “Yes. He didn’t know what date the funeral is and we’ll have to see.

“Once we know when it is, we’ll touch base and see.

“But I’ve said to him, if you have to go back or meet up a little bit later, then we’ll just play it by ear. He’s going to call me.”

James’ presence would be a huge boost for a Wales squad who began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in March.

The 21-year-old scored the winner on his competitive debut, building on outstanding Swansea form that almost saw him join Sky Bet Championship rivals Leeds during the final hours of the January transfer window.

James’ proposed move to Elland Road broke down as Swansea were unhappy with the payment structure of the £10million deal.

Leeds’ loss looks like being United’s gain as Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to make James his first summer signing at Old Trafford.

Man Utd 1999 Legends v Bayern Munich Legends – Old Trafford
Swansea winger Daniel James is a reported summer target for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Martin Rickett/PA)

“The Leeds thing could have gone the other way,” Giggs said. “It could have sidetracked the rest of the season, but he was good before Christmas and then kicked on another level after that.

“I was at the Swansea-Stoke game and it was as good a wing performance as I’ve seen in a long time.

“He got two lads sent off and scored a worldy. Ash (Wales captain Ashley Williams) ended up at right-back, which is one of the funniest things I’ve seen this season.

“It was a fantastic performance so it shows what he’s capable of.”

Giggs sidestepped suggestions that he recommended James to his former United team-mate Solskjaer.

But he said: “I’ve had all my mates asking me what’s he like? We’ll have to wait and see as it (joining United) is not done yet.

“If you go to United or any big club there is pressure on you – you see that with the likes of Aaron (Ramsey), Ben (Davies) and Gareth (Bale).

“When you meet up internationally then you’re used to that pressure and there are so many benefits to playing at a higher level.

“As a manager you want all your players to be playing to a higher level as they can and their ability deserves.”

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