Chelsea right wing-back Reece James has been one of the Blues’ standout performers but it has not gone unnoticed and the England international has made his way onto the radar of Real Madrid. With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave as free agents this summer, the last thing the club will want is to lose another defensive star.
James has also been one of Thomas Tuchel’s most productive attacking threats this season, producing five goals and six assists in just 21 Premier League matches. His absence through injury also coincided with a run of form that saw the Blues title hopes slip away, so his importance to the side cannot be overstated.
Reports therefore that Madrid could come hunting for him will have sent chills down the spines of many at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Rudiger is seemingly set to move to the Bernabeu on a free transfer this summer and Los Blancos are seemingly eager to continue their west London raid moving forward.
Steve McManaman, however, believes the Spanish giants will have their work cut out landing James. In his column for Horseracing.net, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder said: “Reece James would be an ideal long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal because he’s brilliant.
“Getting him away from Chelsea, however, will be nearly impossible, but absolutely, he’s a superstar player and he kept Vinícius Júnior quiet when they faced off in the Champions League. He’s a lovely player but I don’t see him leaving Chelsea anytime soon.”
Madrid’s plans to sign James became slightly clearer on Friday when Goal published an update on the story indicating that their priority for now remains transfers for Kylian Mbappe and Aurelien Tchouameni. A move for James is now more likely to happen in the summer of 2023, according to the report.
James will still have two years left to run on his contract at Stamford Bridge by the time Madrid are ready to launch their move, so they will likely still have to fork out a huge transfer sum to even tempt Chelsea into a sale.