Real Madrid have identified Chelsea defender Reece James as a long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes.net [via Caught Offside].
Carvajal has established himself as a key player for Real Madrid over the last nine years. The defender has made 340 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish giants during this period.
The Spain international found the back of the net seven times and provided 56 assists for his teammates in those games. He has notably helped Los Blancos win 20 trophies during his time with the club.
However, Carvajal, who has a contract with Real Madrid until 2025 will turn 31 years old in three months’ time in January. The La Liga giants thus seem to be already planning for life without the full-back.
According to the aforementioned source, Chelsea right-back James has emerged as a target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side. It appears they view the 22-year-old as the ideal long-term replacement for Carvajal.
Real Madrid have signed Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga over the last two summers. The two transfers displayed the club’s desire to plan ahead, with the French duo viewed as long-term replacements for Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
The Spanish champions seemingly want to do the same with Carvajal, with James earmarked as his successor. However, it remains to be seen if they can convince Chelsea to sell the right-back.
James only put pen to paper on a new contract with the Stamford Bridge outfit in September. The England international is now tied to the Premier League giants until the end of the 2027-28 season.
Chelsea would thus demand a hefty transfer fee even if they agreed to sell James.
How has Real Madrid target James fared for Chelsea?
James rose through the ranks at Chelsea’s academy before making his first team debut for them in September 2019. He notably made his senior bow as a footballer in the EFL Championship the previous year while on loan at Wigan Athletic.
The right-back has since gone on to make 132 appearances across all competitions for the Blues. He has scored 11 goals and provided 20 assists in those matches.
James has been pivotal to the club’s success in recent years, having helped them win three trophies under Thomas Tuchel. He has also established himself as a regular for the England national team, earning 15 caps for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Having spent his entire life in England, it remains to be seen if the defender will be open to a move to Spain if Real Madrid come calling.