Manchester United are reportedly interested in Chelsea youngster Reece James and are plotting a summer swoop for the star currently on loan at Wigan.
In what could be described as an interesting piece of gossip, Daily Mail are claiming that Manchester United are showing interest in Chelsea academy graduate Reece James. The youngster is currently on a season-long loan to Championship outfit Wigan Athletic and is being courted by other Premier League clubs as well.
London-born, Reece James joined Chelsea at the age of six. Climbing up the proverbial ladder and developing his footballing skills, the youngster signed a professional deal in March 2017 with Chelsea, hoping to be one of the academy stars to forge their place in the first-team setup in the coming years.
Despite being named the 2017-18 Academy Player of the Season and signing a new four-year contract in the summer of 2018, James was loaned to Wigan Athletic for the entire season, all despite Chelsea having a dearth of options at right-back.
Davide Zappacosta has been inconsistent for Chelsea this season while Cesar Azpilicueta has struggled to be the same right-back he was earlier after a stint at centre-back under Antonio Conte. James on the other hand, has flourished at Wigan, despite the club floundering in the lower half of the Championship table.
James is the highest rated Wigan star according to Whoscored and was even named in the Championship Team of the Season. All this has drawn interest from several Premier League clubs, with reports of a £10 million bid from Brighton being rejected also doing the rounds. But, Manchester United’s entry might change things.
The Red Devils are desperately searching for a reliable right-back to be added to the squad, with Antonio Valencia set to depart in the summer and Ashley Young being as good as a makeshift defender can be at the position. Diogo Dalot has shown encouraging signs but still needs time to fully adapt to the rigours of English football.
James already has a season under his belt and has impressed with his ability on the ball. That the youngster’s sister, Lauren James, is part of the Manchester United Women’s team that have won the second division in their first season of formation could also aid United’s cause in pursuit of the 19-year-old.
Chelsea might not take too kindly to the idea of selling an academy graduate, a developing one at that, to a rival like Manchester United. The player is reportedly valued at £15 million, which would be a bargain if Reece ends up solving United’s problems on the right side of the back four.
If the transfer ban holds up for Chelsea, the Blues will need all the personnel they can to compensate for the lack of signings. James though, has tasted first-team football and will be keen on continuing the same in the coming season. If Chelsea cannot provide first-team football, the 19-year-old might want a transfer, with Manchester United on the pry.
It will be interesting to see if Reece James remains a Chelsea player when the summer transfer window slams shut. There are a lot of interest in the Wigan loanee and the 19-year-old could use it to either get first-team football at his local club where he has been since the age of six or a transfer to one who can provide first-team football.