An update has emerged regarding Manchester City’s interest in Chelsea defender Reece James.
According to The Athletic, the Premier League champions are interested in signing the right-back this summer as they look to strengthen their squad. James caught City’s eye in the Champions League final and now they want to add him to Pep Guardiola’s ranks in the coming months.
The report claims that City believe they could have a chance to land the 21-year-old because of Chelsea’s interest in Inter defender Achraf Hakimi.
After the Champions League final in May in which Chelsea defeated Pep Guardiola’s side, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand lauded the full-back for his “immense” performance that night. He told BT Sport, via Metro: “He’s a product of the youth academy and we’ve seen some people questioning him, for Chelsea and England.
“Well tonight he performed on the biggest stage and was the standout, he was immense.
“If you’re going to play at the top level you have to do that. Today he became a man. Today he answered all those questions.”
Guardiola would surely love to have James at the Etihad Stadium and Txiki Begiristain must sanction a deal for the defender this summer if there is any chance of a move going through. Txiki needs to act swiftly to open negotiations with Chelsea and gauge how likely a transfer is for James before any other clubs catch wind of his potential availability.
The England international could be a terrific addition to City’s squad and provide a long-term replacement for Kyle Walker at right-back, whilst giving Guardiola a young player to coach and develop. Walker is by no means at the end of his career, but the right-back turned 31 in May and is 10 years older than James.
The Manchester City man has been an excellent servant for the club over the years, with 184 competitive appearances since his switch from Tottenham in 2017. In that time, he has helped City win three Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup, highlighting how successful the team has been with him at right-back and why replacing him could prove a difficult task, with Joao Cancelo now excelling at left-back.
James, who is rated at £36m by Transfermarkt, enjoyed an impressive campaign with Chelsea in the Premier League. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.94 across 32 appearances whilst also receiving a score of 6.87 for his performances in the Champions League for the Blues.
This shows that the 21-year-old is already able to perform consistently at the top level despite his young age, so Guardiola would surely love him at City as, having seen firsthand the threat he can pose following the Champions League final, the youngster could be the club’s starting right-back for the next decade if all goes well.