Swansea City manager Graham Potter has hinted that he is powerless to keep hold of star man Daniel James.
The young Welshman’s performances have caught the eye this season, with three goals scored and his quality on show in attacking midfield.
James particularly stood out in Swansea’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, as they lost 3-2 after going 2-0 up.
Southampton are one of the clubs to be linked with a summer move for the highly-rated 21-year-old, with Ralph Hasenhuttl a keen advocate of youth.
While Potter is undoubtedly keen to keep hold of one of his most important players beyond this season, he also accepts that he is ready for Premier League football.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, the Swans boss says James’ future is now out of his control:
It is not for me to announce values and prices.
(But) against Manchester City (in the FA Cup in March) he matches the physicality of Kyle Walker, for example, and runs away from players at that level.
That’s a direct comparison against Premier League players at the very top and you can see his quality.
He plays alongside Gareth Bale (for Wales) and doesn’t look out of place.
You look at his attributes and how he influences games at Championship level. He causes teams real, real problems.
It’s up to the market to decide the rest, but I’m happy to have him with me and long may it continue.
City themselves are reportedly front-runners for James’ signature, but with regular football so hard to come by at the Etihad, a move to Southampton makes more sense for the Wales international’s development.
Daniel James club after the summer transfer window odds
Swansea City - Evens
James is favourite to still be a Swansea player at the end of the summer, which will encourage their supporters.
Leeds United - 4/1
Should Leeds United get promoted, James would be an exciting signing in their return to the Premier League.
Norwich City - 8/1
Like Leeds, Norwich’s chances of signing James are likely to depend on whether or not they are promoted.
Sheffield United - 8/1
Exactly the same applies to Sheffield United, with Chris Wilder’s side currently set to miss out on automatic promotion.
Leicester City - 9/1
Brendan Rodgers has started well at Leicester City and his ability to improve young players means James could thrive at the King Power Stadium.