Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Palace, Everton, Wolves lead race for talented teen as Birmingham brace themselves for big offers

Jordan James, Birmingham City midfielder in action during the Championship clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park

Crystal Palace and Wolves are among the Premier League clubs who are ready to test Birmingham’s resolve by making a summer move for teen sensation Jordan James.

James has only broken in to the Blues starting XI this season, but the scouts are already out in force. Palace have checked him out but they will face strong competition from a number of rival clubs. Wolves are also in the hunt along with Brighton, Everton, Southampton and West Ham.

Birmingham are used to dealing with interest in their talented young players. Jude Bellingham was the talk of the town before he made a move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020. And now it looks like being a case of Deja Vu with James.

Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer knows what it is like to be a talented young midfielder with clubs queuing up for you. Back in 1996 he left Charlton for Leeds United for £2.8million, which was a record for a British teenager.

It would take some fee to break the record in this day and age, but James is in demand.

Bowyer continues to say what a valuable asset James is and is not surprised by all the interest. He is aware of the Premier League interest and knows the offers will soon come in.

Long-term deal

The Championship club are doing all they can to keep hold and James is tied to a long-term deal. However the chances of him still being on board in 2024 look slim as the list of admirers grows.

James only made his debut when coming off the bench against Bristol City in November. But there is every chance it could be his one and only season at St Andrews.

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The youngster will have plenty of options if he does move on and the chance to work with Patrick Vieira at Palace could be a huge pull for him.

Jordan James part of midfield revamp

The Frenchman is keen to give his Eagles midfield a revamp for next season. He will lose Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher when he returns to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Luka Milivojevic, Cheikhou Kouyate and James McArthur are solid enough but a midfield facelift is on the cards.

Ajax defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez is one player who is known to be on Vieira’s wanted list. He has bags of experience for a 24-year-old but will cost in excess of £20m to get him on board.

Nottingham Forest starlet Brennan Johnson is another target. The 20-year-old, who has seven caps for Wales, has emerged as one of the Championship’s best young talents this season.

He has nine goals and five assists in 31 league appearances and again would fit the bill. Again Palace would face strong competition with Brentford said to be in the box seat.

Liverpool and Tottenham have also been linked and Forest are likely to cash in if they do not win promotion.

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