Playing hardball suggests that the new Blues boss sees a big future for the teenager, who is just coming off the back of a breakthrough season on loan at Wigan, in which he turned heads with mature performances.
Earlier in the summer it had been reported that Manchester United were one of six clubs interested in signing James.
The 19-year-old made 46 appearances for the Latics last term in a move that was beneficial for all parties. He was arguably Wigan’s player of the season and influential in them remaining in the Championship, while Chelsea saw their player develop considerably with the senior experience.
The Independent report that Palace came back with an improved bid as the transfer window entered its final week, but they were snubbed a second time.
They also report that his parent club want the full-back to sign a new and improved contract with them, in what can be considered a new dawn at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s assistant Jody Morris has a stellar reputation for developing talent at youth level, while Lampard himself helped bring along Chelsea young stars Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount on loan at Derby last season, alongside Liverpool’s Harry Wilson.
Chelsea have drawn criticism in recent years for denying opportunities to their crop of young talents, who have consistently excelled at the Under-18 level, with several generations lifting the FA Youth Cup.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have recently broken into the senior set-up, and the likes of James, Mount and Tomori could be the next in line to feature.
The club’s transfer ban could also force them to lean on their academy products in the short-term.