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Man Utd set to add $20M Swans winger James

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Manchester United’s first signing of the summer will be a Welsh international forward, but not that one, presuming the clubs sort out the transfer fee.

Swansea City winger Daniel James has agreed to terms with United, according to Sky Sports.

The 21-year-old is expected to cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men about $20 million.

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

James scored five times with 10 assists for Graham Potter in all competitions this season, totaling 2800 minutes for Swans.

Only Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was fouled more per game than James, who was taken to the turf 2.7 times per match. He mostly played on the left wing this season.

Twice-capped by Wales, James turns 22 in November. How long will it take him to make the jump from Championship star to Premier League contributor?

Report: Man United to sign Dan James

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Multiple reports claim that Manchester United have agreed to sign Swansea City youngster Daniel James for $19.5 million.

James, 21, has had a breakout year in England’s second tier for the Swans, with the pacy forward catching the eye in several FA Cup games as he has scored six goals and added seven assists in all competitions.

According to our partners at Sky Sports in the UK James is wanted by several other Premier League teams and has just one year left on his current contract, but United are close to signing the Welsh international who almost joined Leeds United in the January transfer window.

That deal broke down on Deadline Day, and James kicked on in the second half of the campaign and is regarded as one of the top players in the Championship. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has mentioned several times that he wants United to sign young, hungry players and James certainly fits the bill.

His style of play is also a bit of a throwback for United, with his style reminiscent to Ryan Giggs as James dribbles and runs at defenders all game long, and can back that up with searing pace on the break. Given United’s penchant as a counter-attacking team under Solskjaer, James should slot in very well at Old Trafford.

Is this the huge marquee signing United’s fans were hoping for? Nope. But how has that worked out for them in the past?

Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have come in with fortunes spent, and the jury is out as to whether any of those superstars have been a roaring success. Then there’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Angel di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger and others…

With the likes of Declan Rice, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho all linked with moves to United this summer, Solskjaer is trying to overhaul his squad with young British talent who are eager to prove themselves.

This move for James could signal the start of a modest, but very important overhaul in their squad. It seems like United could be getting smarter in the transfer market, as Ed Woodward and Co. aren’t willing to splash plenty of cash of established names and are instead focused on polishing gems who have broken through at other clubs.

At this point, they’ve tried pretty much everything else in the transfer market. Why not sign British players who won’t cost quite as much and develop them into stars?

Man City completes epic three-goal comeback to top Swansea in FA Cup

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Sergio Aguero scored in the 88th minute to complete a three-goal comeback as Manchester City tops Swansea City 3-2 in FA Cup action on Saturday.

20 minutes in, the Swans stunned the Premier League leaders by scoring twice in the opening half-hour to take an early 2-0 lead. Fabian Delph scythed down Connor Roberts in the box and Matt Grimes buried an emphatic penalty to take the lead and set the Liberty Stadium alight.

Nine minuets later, the Swans doubled the lead with an absolutely stunning buildup that made the home side look more like the visitors. As Swansea produced a glittering counter, Daniel James cut inside from the left flank and fed Nathan Dyer who touched to Bersant Celina to finished fabulously with a curler.

Celina, a Kosovo international and former Man City youth product, scored in his third straight FA Cup game and Swansea secured a 2-0 lead into halftime.

The visitors needed a bit of luck to find their way back in, and they got that with 21 minutes to go as the ball took a few Man City bounces in the box and it fell to Aguero who found Bernardo Silva for the opener. United States international Cameron Carter-Vickers was then called for a foul on Raheem Sterling with 15 minutes to go, and it put Aguero at the spot.

While the Argentine’s penalty struck the left post and bounded parallel to the goal mouth, it deflected off goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt‘s leg and found its way in to level the score.

Then, the controversy. In the 88th minute, Aguero bagged the winning strike as he redirected Bernardo Silva’s cross into the back of the net with his head, having beat Carter-Vickers to the ball. Replays, however, showed that Aguero was clearly leaning offside on the delivery.

The play was not reviewed, as while VAR is made available at some of the FA Cup matches as the English governing body continues to slowly roll out the new technology, this match was not one of those, leaving the referees exposed to their own mistakes. Nevertheless, Manchester City is moving on to the FA Cup semifinals, while Swansea will refocus on the Championship where they sit 15th in the table.

FA Cup QF draw: Man City, Man Utd avoid derby showdown

FA Cup draw
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Manchester City and Manchester United were handed what should be comfortable draws for the quarterfinal round of the 2018-19 FA Cup on Monday, with the only undesirable tie one that would have drawn the only two remaining giants together.

[ FA CUP: Paul Pogba scores, assists as Man Utd bounce Chelsea (video) ]

The defending Premier League champions will travel to south Wales, where they’ll take on Championship side Swansea City the weekend beginning March 16. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side will travel to Molineux Stadium for what a should be a trickier, all-PL tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In the other all-PL matchup, Watford will host Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road. Brighton & Hove Albion will be away to the other remaining Championship side, Millwall.

Full FA Cup quarterfinals draw

Swansea City v. Manchester City
Watford v. Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton Wanderers v. Manchester United
Millwall v. Brighton & Hove Albion

FA Cup preview: Lampard hopes for upset; Chelsea host Man Utd

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The FA Cup’s fifth round kicks off with some underdogs and finishes with a pair of giants.

That first match, QPR versus Watford at Loftus Road, kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET Friday, with the Championship hosts hoping to overrun Abdoulaye Doucoure and the visiting Hornets.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

The weekend was scheduled nicely by the FA, with only one match conflicting with another via a Sunday morning 11 a.m. kickoff.

There are no signs that any of the Premier League sides are taking this lightly, including Pep Guardiola’s claims that Newport County is a more physical side than his City.

There’s a guarantee of at least two non-PL sides in the quarterfinals, and either Chelsea or Manchester United will not be alive for the FA Cup title come Monday evening.

United will have neither Anthony Martial nor Jesse Lingard against a Chelsea side capable of looking unbeatable… or flat-out terrible.

Maybe Frank Lampard will outlast his former team (well, at least the one most often associated with the English midfielder). Derby County leads his side into Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

“I’m not sure how much recent form will matter.

“We are unbeaten (in six) but we’ve got room for improvement,” Lampard said of his Rams. “Brighton are a very strong team, with a really good manager, and it will be a hugely tough challenge for us.”

Full FA Cup fifth round schedule

Friday
QPR v. Watford — 2:45 p.m. ET

Saturday
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Derby County — 7:30 am. ET
AFC Wimbledon v. Millwall — 10 a.m. ET
Newport County v. Man City — 12:30 p.m. ET

Sunday
Bristol City v. Wolves — 8 a.m. ET
Doncaster Rovers v. Crystal Palace — 11 a.m. ET
Swansea City v. Brentford — 11 a.m. ET

Monday
Chelsea v. Manchester United — 2:30 p.m. ET