One of Chelsea’s top priorities once they have a new owner in place is to offer Reece James a new and improved contract, 90min understands.
The 22-year-old has been one of the Premier League’s standout players during 2021/22, registering five goals and six assists from wing-back, and he’s also shone in the Champions League.
James is one of a number of Chelsea stars to have flourished under the guidance of head coach Thomas Tuchel and he is already contracted to the club for the long-term. Indeed, his current Stamford Bridge contract runs until 2025.
However, the England international is not currently one of the club’s higher earners, and Real Madrid have been linked with an audacious move in recent days.
But sources have told 90min that Chelsea are not only unconcerned by Real’s interest, they are prepared to offer James a bumper new deal – in the form of a one-year extension, perhaps two at most – and that tying him down is one of the club’s top priorities once they have a new owner – likely at this stage to be American billionaire Todd Boehly.
Handing James a new deal would not only ward off the 13-time European Cup/Champions League winners Real, it would also recognise his improved standing in the squad – which has accelerated to key player status over the past 12 months.
Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders & Graeme Bailey. Toby Cudworth joins the show again this week to discuss how Erik ten Hag’s appointment may affect Man Utd’s pursuit of Paul Mitchell. There is also chat on the futures of Jesse Lingard & David de Gea and a look at what Newcastle are planning this summer.
James’ father has previously suggested that his son dreams of becoming Chelsea captain – signalling his commitment and loyalty to the club – and that role could soon become available if Cesar Azpilicueta is tempted by interest from Barcelona.
In addition to rewarding James with new terms, 90min also understands that talks could be held with Ben Chilwell over a new contract before the start of next season.
Chilwell has been sidelined by a serious knee injury sustained in the Champions League clash with Juventus back in November, but the 25-year-old was in impressive form during the early stages of the campaign – operating on the opposite flank to James with devastating effect.
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