Chelsea are prioritising a contract improvement for Reece James and could also enter negotiations with a fellow wing-back, a report has revealed.
Once a change in ownership goes through, Chelsea will be able to better plan for their future. Until then, they cannot discuss new deals with players. It has left them powerless ahead of the imminent exits of the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
To prevent players running their deals down in the future, Chelsea will have to have a proactive approach. One of the players they want to protect, according to 90min, is Reece James.
The right-back is under contract until 2025 on his present terms. However, he remains a relatively low earner in the squad. With that in mind, it is claimed that Chelsea want to reward him with a better deal.
The 22-year-old could have his stay extended by one or two years to accommodate his higher salary. It would take him towards the prime of his career.
In turn, it would also ward off Real Madrid, who have recently been suggested as an interested party. The newly crowned La Liga champions could make a move for the England international to succeed Dani Carvajal.
They are already closing in on the acquisition of Rudiger as a free agent after his Chelsea spell. Therefore, there could be fears in west London about one of his teammates too.
But James could commit to Chelsea after his situation was outlined as a priority ahead of the impending change in ownership.
Real Madrid approach Chelsea RB Reece James
Real Madrid make approach to Chelsea right back Reece James but will prioritise Kylian Mbappe
James has played 117 times for the club to date and there could be many more appearances to come if things go to plan for the Blues.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell in line for new Chelsea deals
Alongside James, they could also negotiate a new deal for left-back Ben Chilwell, the report adds. He has missed most of this season through injury, but when fit is their first choice in his position.
Chilwell is also under contract until 2025 at Stamford Bridge. His appearance tally for the club stands at 54 after joining from Leicester City in 2020.
The focus will be on his return to fitness in the coming months. However, he could also have off-the-field matters to attend to.
According to the report, talks could take place before the new season starts, thus safeguarding Chelsea for the future of their flanks.