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Analysis: Should Real Madrid target a move for Chelsea captain Reece James?

  /  autty

After this summer, the next item on Real Madrid’s transfer agenda will be a new right-back. Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are expected to stay on for next season, but with both now being 32, and with their deals ending in 2025 (Vazquez’s ends in the summer, but likelihood is that he will be given a one-year deal), a long-term, younger replacement is needed by Los Blancos.

Real Madrid’s transfer strategy suggests that they will try to sign one of the top players in the right-back position, that is still relatively young. Trent Alexander-Arnold has been linked, although it would depend on him not signing a new contract at Liverpool – as his current deal expires at the end of next season.

In 2023, they were regularly linked with Chelsea’s Reece James. The 24-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best right-backs in the world, and in recent days, it’s been reported that the Premier League giants could sell him in the coming years, having grown frustrated by his regular injury problems.

This could well alert Real Madrid’s attention. Injury-free, James would probably be the ideal successor for Carvajal, and he is worth going all-out for, even if Chelsea were actually to be unwilling to sell. However, the reality is that James has many injury problems, and unfortunately, there looks to be no sign of them ending any time soon.

Fichajes say that Real Madrid are considering an offer for James, although it surely would not be cheap to prise him away from Chelsea, where he has a contract until 2028. Given his fitness woes, it would be a very expensive risk, and Florentino Perez only needs to look back at Eden Hazard – another play signed from Chelsea – to know that it may not be worth it.

If James were to put together an injury-free 12 months of football once he is back to full fitness, that would probably convince Real Madrid to make a move. However, while his problems continue to persist, it’s very hard to see Perez giving the go-ahead of an operation to be tried with Chelsea, unless the asking price was significantly below market value.

For now, it’s probably unlikely that Real Madrid consider a move for James, but there’s little doubt that they will be monitoring his situation and progress at Chelsea. If there is a chance that he can put his injury woes behind him, Los Blancos would surely consider taking the first step.