Chelsea want to keep Manchester City away from Reece James and are planning to hand him a new long-term contract, according to one reporter.
James has become one of Chelsea’s most important players in recent seasons. Last term, he played in 39 matches and chipped in with six goals, as well as 11 assists.
The right wing-back has featured in five of Chelsea’s six Premier League games so far this campaign. He opened his account for the season with a goal in the 2-2 draw with London rivals Tottenham on August 14.
James also got an assist as Thomas Tuchel’s side beat Leicester City two games later. He played a deadly ball to the back post, allowing Raheem Sterling to get his second goal of the afternoon.
Tuchel would love to keep James at Stamford Bridge as he is reliable, versatile and dangerous in the final third.
Worryingly for Chelsea, reports put Manchester City and Real Madrid on James’ trail in June.
The two European heavyweights are keeping tabs on the 22-year-old’s situation, should he become eligible for transfer in the near future.
According to transfermarkt, James’ Chelsea deal runs until summer 2025. This gives the West London club plenty of time to sort a renewal.
But it seems they are rushing through his new terms following the links with City and Real.
Chelsea, Reece James close to contract agreement
Fabrizio Romano claims contract discussions between James and Chelsea officials are nearing the ‘final stage’. This means he could soon be tied down to a new deal, which would make City or Real less likely to submit a bid.
Romano states the defender’s new deal will be valid until 2028, and Chelsea want to include the option for a further season.
The Italian journalist then casts doubt over whether Carlo Ancelotti’s side were ever actually in for James. He writes: ‘He’s never been close to joining Real Madrid, despite rumours.’
Romano doesn’t dispel the James to City rumours, which suggests there is a bit of interest from them in the England international.
Pep Guardiola can currently rely on Kyle Walker on the right side of defence, while Joao Cancelo and John Stones can operate there too.
But Walker is now 32 years old, Cancelo tends to play at left-back and Stones is generally a centre-half. This explains why City could make a move for James, as he would slot in as Walker’s long-term replacement.
However, Chelsea are getting closer to announcing the player’s new deal at Stamford Bridge. This means City would have to spend an astronomical sum to agree a deal in the next few transfer windows.
Meanwhile, Chelsea made a late bid for a Southampton man just weeks after moved to the south coast, a report claims.