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Real Madrid-linked Chelsea star on the radars of Barcelona – report

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

If Real Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie against Chelsea was any form of audition for Reece James, it is safe to say it was a mixed bag for the Englishman. After all, he is one of Los Blancos’ options to reinforce the right-back position in June.

Across two legs, the full-back was put to the ultimate test of silencing Vinicius Jr, a task very few in world football have completed successfully.

James struggled to contain the Brazilian phenom at the Santiago Bernabeu as Vini enjoyed a man-of-the-match performance. However, he was far better last night at Stamford Bridge.

In 90 minutes during the second leg, James completed a whopping four key passes against Real Madrid and recorded 96 touches. His passing accuracy was a staggering 97% and he created one big chance.

Further, the 23-year-old completed five of his seven attempted dribbles and won five duels on the night.

Now, according to reports from Gerard Romero (h/t Actualite Barca), Barcelona are showing some degree of interest in Reece James. The journalist claims that the Englishman would be one to keep an eye on as several officials within the club are excited by the right-back.

It could mean that they will compete directly with Real Madrid. Amidst the burning flames between the two teams, this comes as a big development.

James has a contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2028, implying that any transfer would involve a significant chunk of money. Considering Barcelona’s economic situation, it is thus advantage Real Madrid at this point.

Having used the last two transfer windows to sign players to no end, Chelsea will be under pressure to part ways with some stars come June. It is this very opportunity that Real Madrid find appealing and wish to capitalise on.

The fee reported is around the €50 million mark which is indeed a bargain for a player of his quality. The race for James will thus certainly get heated, and it could come down to a fight between the two Spanish giants.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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