Chelsea: James 'could be tempted' by Real amid 'worrying' latest - pundit

By Noel Whelan

3rd May, 2022 | 11:16am

Reece James 'could be tempted' by Real Madrid offer amid 'worrying' Chelsea development - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed Real Madrid could “tempt” Chelsea defender Reece James to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it “wouldn’t be a surprise” to see the 22-year-old depart amid a “worrying” backdrop of uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.

According to Goal (29 April), Real Madrid are interested in exploiting any impasse in contract talks with James brought on by the takeover saga at Chelsea.

However, the report claims Los Blancos plan to make any potential move in 2023 as they focus on the capture of Kylian Mbappe this summer.

James, who has notched five goals and six assists in 22 league appearances this term, is out of contract in June 2025.

Whelan urged Chelsea to finalise a takeover in order to secure the futures of a number of “key players”.

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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Real Madrid could tempt anyone away, couldn’t they?

“It’s one of those sides that will always pique the interest of players. He’ll be very flattered and very tempted, I’m sure – and it’ll be hard to say no to a giant of a team like Real Madrid.

“Look, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go. He’s an excellent right-back, and he’s just getting better and better.

“He improves that Chelsea side no end when he’s in it.

“This takeover will be completed, but it’s just a matter of when – it’s becoming a real worry. They need to get these key players tied down and their futures sorted.”

Chelsea are currently unable to negotiate any contract extensions or transfer deals.

The restrictions are a result of government sanctions imposed on current owner Roman Abramovich.

In other news, medical expert names new Ben Chilwell return date after “significant” Chelsea training update.