Real Madrid are reportedly plotting a move for Chelsea full-back, Reece James, to replace Dani Carvajal as they want to assemble a team of future leaders.

According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, Real Madrid have made Chelsea full-back Reece James their primary transfer target to replace Dani Carvajal.

A Cobham academy graduate, the 22-year-old first burst onto the scene during the 2019/20 season. And James has since gone from strength to strength with each passing season. Regarded as one of the best right-backs in Europe, he has already racked up over 130 senior appearances for the Blues and has also become a regular member of Gareth Southgate’s England setup, having played 15 times for his country.

On current form, he will certainly be starting right wing-back for the Three Lions at the World Cup in Qatar. James is rapidly approaching world-class status in his role at Chelsea as he continues to impress at crucial moments on the biggest stages, be it his superb display in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League final, or starring at the Euros.

Most recently, the Chelsea defender produced a sensational all-round display in a must-win Champions League match against AC Milan. He first assisted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal before adding his own goal in style with a typically emphatic finish.

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It is not only his attacking game that stands out the most; he has improved the defensive side of his game immensely over the last year or so, where he uses his physicality to ease his opponents off the ball. James reads the game superbly from both defensive and attacking perspectives, demonstrated by his match-saving clearance against Crystal Palace last weekend, while he times his forward forays to perfection.

It is no wonder Real Madrid tried to sign him last summer and are still chasing after him despite Chelsea tying their prized defender down to a long-term deal until 2028 just a month ago, making him the highest-paid defender in the club’s history in the process.

It is not hard to understand why Real Madrid might be interested in signing James. They have identified right-back as an area where they will have to strengthen in the near future, with both Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez both hitting their thirties. And while the duo offers reliable, solid options, they are unlikely to take Los Merengues to a whole new level in the long run.

Thus, someone like James would be a fantastic signing for the reigning La Liga and Champions League holders. The Chelsea defender is versatile, capable of playing at right-back, wing-back, on the right side of a central defensive trio, and even as a holding midfielder, and can impact a game at both ends of the pitch. He also possesses one of the best deliveries from wide areas in world football.

Even though Chelsea have no plans to sell their academy product anytime soon, it won’t stop Real Madrid from trying their luck in the coming transfer windows. And why not? A move to the Santiago Bernabeu has more often than not proven to be a head-turning proposition for many transfer target in the past.

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