Although James, 23, was in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans for this season, the Manchester Evening News understands that Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational return to Old Trafford on Friday caused the Welshman to reconsider his future at United.
Leeds almost signed James on deadline day in January 2019 before United snatched him from Swansea for £15 million that summer, but the West Yorkshire club now have their man after a £25 million deal plus add-ons was completed on Tuesday.
"It was absolutely the right decision for me and my football career," James said of the move.
What are your thoughts on James' departure? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. "Don't get me wrong, I had an incredible time [at United]. I made great friends, the staff and fans were amazing to me, but for me, it's time to move on career-wise and just to move forward, so yeah, I'm looking forward to it."
"I'm a different player and person. I'd only played a half-season when I nearly signed here the last time, but I've now played at the highest level, and I'd like to think I can contribute here.
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