According to The Sun, Crystal Palace want Chelsea defender Reece James to be their replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and are willing to wait to get their man, and it is a signal that they are heading down the right path.
Well, Wan-Bissaka departed for Manchester United last month in an initial £45m deal that could rise to £50m with add-ons, and now the hunt is on at Selhurst Park for his right-back successor.
The Sun report that the Eagles want to bring 19-year-old James across the capital to south London, although they may have to be patient to get their first-choice target with a potential deal – either loan or permanent – more likely to happen either in January or next summer.
The report adds that the teenager won’t be allowed to leave until the Blues hear more about their transfer ban, while the player himself isn’t expected to be fit until August after picking up an injury playing for England U20s.
James is reportedly the club’s top target to replace the 2018/19 fans’ player of the season, and it makes complete sense.
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They have also been linked with a move to bring Nathaniel Clyne back too, but that would be a mistake given he is 28 years of age and his potential sell-on fee is unlikely to rise from now as a result.
The south London outfit have just seen how much profit there is to be made when you develop a promising youngster, and the Chelsea starlet certainly appears to be exactly that.
He shone on loan at Wigan Athletic last term – winning both the players’ player and the fans’ player of the season awards – while new Blues boss Frank Lampard tipped him to “be a top player” in December of last year when he was manager of Derby County.
Three goals and three assists in 46 Championship appearances for the Latics in 2018/19 show his attacking capabilities from right-back, and he would get the platform to showcase those at Selhurst Park if he follows in Wan-Bissaka’s footsteps and is afforded regular football.
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Palace are heading down the right path, and now they must hope they can convince their London neighbours to cash in.