Real Madrid make early transfer approach for Chelsea star Reece James

Reece James Chelsea 2021-22Getty Images

Real Madrid are one of a host of Europe's top clubs that have approached Chelsea full-back Reece James about a possible transfer. 

Madrid's plan would be to potentially sign the wing-back in the 2023 summer transfer window.

In the short-term, their priority remains securing PSG forward Kylian Mbappe, having already agreed a move for Blues defender Antonio Rudiger. Carlo Ancelotti's side are also ready to challenge the Blues and Liverpool to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni. 

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Will Real Madrid sign Reece James?

James has emerged as one of Chelsea's key players and would be a huge loss to Thomas Tuchel, who counts on him as a regular starter. 

He won’t be let go without a fight, however, and is one of the players that the club's hierarchy want to build their team around for the next few years.

Despite his standing in the first-team squad, James, who is under contract until 2025, is not one of Chelsea's highest earners.

It's a similar situation to that of Mason Mount, with both players being fiercely loyal to Chelsea but they are among the lowest paid in west London. 

Even though there’s a huge to-do list for the new owners upon their arrival, they will need to secure the long-term futures of both players who could have their heads turned by the summer of 2023, especially should things not go to plan in the coming months. 

Their contract situations have surprised the Blues' European rivals, who have been asking whether they are interested in running down their deals with a view to future moves. Both players have insisted that isn’t the case but have had little dialogue about renewing their contracts thus far.  

Who will leave Chelsea this summer?

Cesar Azpilicueta is still a target for Barcelona with Andreas Christensen having already agreed a move to Camp Nou and Rudiger going to Madrid

Jorginho is one of Juventus' summer targets and could be allowed to leave, with Conor Gallagher due back in the squad after his loan spell at Crystal Palace. 

Saul Niguez isn’t expecting to be signed on a permanent deal by Chelsea, who are currently unable to exercise that option because of the sanctions on the club. 

Furthermore, N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso see their contracts expiring within the next year and will have to have talks over new deals if they are to stay put. 

Several loanees are attracting transfer interest including Armando Broja and Levi Colwill, who are at Southampton and Huddersfield respectively. 

That all being said, the Blues cannot sign or sell players until a new owner arrives. 

They have, however, already begun scouting and discussing transfer options at the club's Cobham training base as they look to hit the ground running when they get the green light to start making moves again. 

A lot of potential transfers are linked to the exits of players with a 'one in, one out' policy having been discussed before Roman Abramovich was forced to sell the club.

Additional reporting by Jorge Picon

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