Why Boehly will send Reece James to Real Madrid

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • Updated: 14 Sept 2023 09:41 BST
  • 4 min read
Reece James, Chelsea, 2023/24
© ProShots

Chelsea could be forced to make a difficult decision over Reece James, with speculation that Real Madrid see the Blues skipper as their long-term right-back solution, and the prospect of a transfer may be more likely than some expect.

Real have held a long-term interest in James ever since he broke into the Chelsea team and recent reports in Spain have suggested that Carlo Ancelotti’s side are keen to conduct a deal for the 23-year-old in the next two years.

Article continues under the video

While SPORT suggests Real would only be willing to offer €40 million next summer – an amount that would undoubtedly be laughed off by Chelsea – the notion of a sale may be something the club are forced to consider despite initial reservations.

READ MORE: Real Madrid's long-term plan to sign Reece James

When fit, James is arguably Chelsea’s most important player, having been appointed as club captain this summer, and has proven to be integral to the team since his debut in 2019.

However, ‘when fit’ is an important caveat and James has missed 57 out of Chelsea's 156 Premier League games during his career – more than a third – with his latest setback in the opening game of the season set to keep the England international sidelined until next month.

With Chelsea now set for a spell of transition under Mauricio Pochettino and the club open to cashing in on academy graduates to ease financial constraints, an offer for the right amount may provide the perfect storm to see James leave Stamford Bridge.

Why Chelsea’s financial woes could tempt James into exit

Chelsea’s stunning business in the past three transfer windows under Todd Boehly has led to the club towing a difficult line with Financial Fair Play and the likes of Mason Mount and Lewis Hall have been sold in order to balance the books, with academy players representing pure profit towards regulations.

As a result, offers for players such as Trevoh Chalobah and Ian Maatsen have been considered, although Chelsea will need to raise significantly more money to offset their €1 billion outlay in the past 15 months.

BIG MONEY: The numbers behind Chelsea's spending under Todd Boehly

James still has five years remaining on his contract and the club have shown no desire to cash in on their captain, while the player himself has insisted he sees his future at Chelsea, meaning Real would likely have to double their €40m valuation to even grab the Blues’ attention.

But with the La Liga side looking for a long-term replacement to Dani Carvajal at right-back, the opportunity for James to move to arguably the biggest side in world football, linking up with England teammate Jude Bellingham in the process, and immediately compete for more Champions League titles may be a tough one to turn down.

Chelsea, meanwhile, already have a potential successor at the club in Malo Gusto, with the 20-year-old impressing in James’ absence after joining from Lyon earlier this year.

If his injury issues continue to persist and Chelsea fail to raise funds elsewhere, as well as miss out on European football for another season, a future without James may edge closer to reality as Boehly deals with the consequences of his tenure at the club.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.