A major update has emerged in Manchester City’s pursuit of Reece James this summer…
According to talkSPORT, Chelsea have told City that they are not open to cashing in on Reece James this summer, amid interest from Pep Guardiola in the defender.
The Blues are not willing to sell the one-time Wigan loanee and believe that he will be key to their first-team plans for many years to come.
This comes after a report from The Athletic earlier this week claiming that the Citizens had identified him as a potential target to improve the squad, with the former Barcelona head coach said to be a huge fan of his quality.
City fans will be gutted by this news as it seemingly rules out any chance of the club being able to sign James from their Premier League rivals.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are adamant that they want to keep the right-back at Stamford Bridge, which suggests that no amount of money from City will allow them to snap him up over the course of the transfer window.
Therefore, the club has been dealt with a major blow and they will now need to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.
Supporters should also be frustrated as the England international could have been an excellent addition to the squad ahead of next season. James is a fantastic young talent, as emphasised by his former boss at Chelsea Frank Lampard’s effusive praise of him last year.
“So I’ve always been a big fan of his natural talent. There are things he’ll want to improve on his game and that I think he can improve on his game.
“So with his great natural talent that he’s got, his great physical attributes and the things we can work on, he’s going to be a fantastic player for this club for a long, long time.”
The £58k-per-week beast was exceptional for club and country during the 2020/21 campaign. He averaged a sublime WhoScored rating of 7.26 in 16 starts as a right-back and a score of 7.16 in 15 starts at right wing-back for Chelsea and England.
James also excelled in the Champions League final, in which Tuchel’s man overcame City to win the competition for the second time.
He ranked as the Blues’ best defender (7.3), as per SofaScore ratings, and did a number in keeping Raheem Sterling quiet as he registered seven tackles and five clearances as well as winning ten ground duels.
This illustrates the talent he possesses and shows why Lampard was keen to laud him whilst he was in charge at the Bridge. It is also why Txiki Begiristain may be eyeing up a swoop for the defender, as it suggests that he could be a top-class signing and elevate the standard of their fullback options.
Kyle Walker averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.84 in 37 starts at right-back for City and England.
This suggests that the £36m-rated James could be an upgrade on the former Tottenham man, which is another reason why fans will be disappointed with this news as that improvement to the team is now unlikely to happen any time soon.