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.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.