If you cannot beat them, do everything you to convince them to join you. That is the modus operandi of modern football and clubs such as Manchester City are certainly fond of this practice (although Chelsea are also at fault in doing this as well).
And Chelsea defender Reece James has handily beat Manchester City in almost every opportunity he had when facing the Citizens this season. The 21-year-old was one of our top performers in our three wins over Pep Guardiola’s side since manager Thomas Tuchel took over the reigns, most notably the Champions League final where he did an amazing job shutting down our right flank against the threats of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling in our 1-0 victory over the Citzens.
His impressive performance have caught the eyes of Pep, who is now interested in adding him to his squad according to a report from the Athletic. His addition to Manchester City would be a boon to the Spanish manager not just because of his talent and the ensuing admiration that the coach has to the player, but also due to his versatility as he is able to play in central midfield and central defence as well.
There are however some major obstacles in front of this pursuit from City, if it ever becomes one. First, James’ preferred position seems to be right-back/wing-back and to play in this position at City, he would need to compete against Kyle Walker and João Cancelo — whereas the one name who could be his biggest competitor for the role at Chelsea, Inter Milan’s Achraf Hakimi, seems destined to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
Secondly, James still has four years left in his last Chelsea contract extended in January last year. Even if the Blues were interested in selling him — and they are certainly not — that would give them major bargaining power to squeeze as much money from a club that although very rich, still want to add players such as Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish to their squad.
Although it is unlikely that this will mount to anything concrete in terms of offers and/or approaches made to Chelsea, it is still a testament to how talented Reece already is even though he is still years away from his peak. So do not be surprised if we end up giving a massive boost to his current club earnings in the near future not just to reward him handsomely for his contribution to the team thus far, but also to shrug away these silly season rumours until the next contract negotiation comes around.