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Swansea City set to sign Hull City's Wales hopeful Daniel James

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Daniel James is set to sign for Swansea City from Hull City.

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SWANSEA City are set to pay a five-figure fee to bring Wales youth starlet Daniel James to the Liberty Stadium.

The 16-year-old midfielder is poised to join from Hull City as Swansea seek to add quality to their youth ranks.

James hails from the Hull area, but is on his way to Wales because he believes he will have a better chance of making the breakthrough at senior level if he joins Swansea.

It is quite something for Swansea to shell out on such a young player, with a compensation fee of around £72,000 thought likely to be paid for the Tigers.

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The fact that Swansea are willing to pay for an apprentice shows how keen the club are to bolster their academy ranks.

And the fact that a player is prepared to leave a Premier League club — albeit one whose academy is only category three standard — to join Swansea is a sign of the growing reputation of the youth set-up at the Liberty.

Swansea have a category two academy, and are aiming to achieve category one status — the highest level — in the near future.

And it could be that James, a Wales Under-17 international, is among a number of academy recruits.

Swansea's youth-team manager, Cameron Toshack, is keen to work with a bigger squad next season, and the club are thought to be on the lookout for more new faces.

Hull youth boss Tony Pennock, who was Swansea's academy boss until last November, is disappointed to be losing James.

Pennock's aim is to produce players capable of playing for Steve Bruce's Tigers first team, and that becomes harder when emerging talents like James move on to other clubs.

"That's our big challenge because we've lost two players in the last 12 months — Harry Cardwell (who went to Reading) last summer and now it's Dan James going to Swansea," Pennock said. "That's the problem we've got.

"We're trying to address it as quickly as we can because if you're a Hull City fan you should want to stay at the club and play for them.

"Everyone has got their own choices and decisions to make and I respect that. I wish Dan James all the very best. We're disappointed to lose them but I don't see that as recruitment. I see that as cherry picking.

"It's a shame because they've both been at the club since they were nine.

"The worst thing is losing kids you don't know about.

"I'm not saying kids at Swansea don't leave to go to Cardiff, but I can't recall one in the last three or four years that we didn't know about."

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