Real Madrid are reportedly keen on signing Chelsea defender Reece James and are prepared to offer Eden Hazard as part of the deal for the Englishman.

According to a report from El Nacional, Real Madrid have identified Chelsea star Reece James as their preferred target to bolster the right-back department and are willing to include Eden Hazard as a makeweight in the deal to land the defender. 

James is a product of the Chelsea youth academy. The 22-year-old has been with the Blues since 2006 and broke into the first team in 2019 following a successful loan spell at Wigan Athletic. He has not looked back since, firmly establishing himself as a key member of the side while also becoming a part of the England national team.

James, to date, has already racked up 106 appearances, scoring eight goals and registering 14 assists. In the current season, the right-back has been in red-hot form, having been directly involved in 11 goals in 22 matches in all competitions. His progress has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid taking an interest in the Englishman.

The Spanish capital club are on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal, who has been bogged down by injuries over the past couple of years. The veteran star’s fitness issues have forced Real Madrid to field Lucas Vazquez as a makeshift right-back, and while he has done a solid job, Los Blancos are looking for a more concrete, reliable solution for the problem.

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James has emerged as a top target for Real Madrid with manager Carlo Ancelotti pushing for the England star’s signing after watching him from close quarters when he was the manager of Everton. In order to sign the Chelsea academy graduate, the Merengues were believed to be ready to splash €60 million, but are now looking at a more creative solution.

As per the report, Real Madrid Florentino Perez is looking to drive James’ price down by offering Chelsea their former superstar, Eden Hazard, as part of a player-plus-cash deal. The Belgian wing-wizard, an icon at Stamford Bridge, joined Los Blancos in 2019 but has endured a torrid time in Spain.

Injury problems have sapped his confidence, and he has fallen way down the pecking order at the club, with Real Madrid ready to part ways with him in January or at the end of the season. Chelsea have previously considered re-signing Hazard from the La Liga leaders, and Perez is hoping to capitalise on that interest by offering the winger as part of the package to try and sign James.

Bringing back Hazard would appeal to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. But the Blues will not let go of James, who still has more than three years left on his contract and is seen as a vital part of the project. It will take a monumental offer from Real Madrid for Chelsea to consider parting ways with the 22-year-old.

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