Man Utd hand Phelan permanent deal, eye James as first summer signing

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Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solhekol claims that United are close to agreeing a £15m deal for the 21-year-old, who nearly joined Leeds United back in January.

If not, this summer will be about signing players who can last for many years here.

The signing would be the first of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign as United boss.

At United's end-of-season awards ceremony on Thursday night, Solskjaer explained his summer plans and vowed to continue putting his faith in youth.

Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: "Manchester United are facing a huge summer in terms of which players stay or leave the club".

Solskjaer had his say on the matter, when asked about James in a news conference.

The likes of Everton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Southampton have been linked with James, but a well-placed United source has told Football Insider that James favours a move to Old Trafford over all other interested parties and a deal is edging closer.

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Solskjaer, whose side are 29 points behind league-leaders City, said: "Challenging for the title next year would be a miraculous season because we are so far behind at the moment, points-wise".

Phelan took up the role on a temporary basis when Solskjaer was appointed caretaker-manager on December 19.

He has scored five goals and laid on 10 assists in 38 appearances in all competitions for the Swans as he helped them to a 10th-placed finish in their first season since relegation from the Premier League.

"Next season, we've got to close that gap".

'I've been a player under him - his knowledge, experience, demeanour - everyone in the club enjoys speaking to him, talking to him, discussing football with him.

"And the best supporters because they love players that excite them, that get them off their seats and we hope to get some of them in". Players really respect him, they know what he can do and he's worked with the best.

Solskjaer's team have already missed out on the top four while Cardiff have been relegated from the Premier League.

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