Borussia Dortmund’s £25million midfielder Jude Bellingham has called Chelsea defender Reece James the “perfect athlete”, amid speculation linking him with the Blues.

Bellingham, 17, is currently part of the England squad at Euro 2020 alongside James.

Intriguingly, Goal claimed on Wednesday that Chelsea have had discussions with Dortmund about trying to bring their teenager to Stamford Bridge.

It is understood that Thomas Tuchel’s Blues are putting in the groundwork because he’s more likely to be a long-term target, as he’s due to sign a new contract with German giants Dortmund.

Bellingham has though just hours later on Wednesday given a glowing verdict on the ability of Chelsea’s 21-year-old right-back James.

“He’s one of the best players in his position in the league and maybe in Europe,” Bellingham claimed.

The interviewer responded: “We had Kalvin Phillips on the show, and he said James might be the strongest man in the squad.

“Alive,” Bellingham interjected.

“Honestly, I got close to him a few times in training and you just bounce off him. He’s so strong, and fast, and powerful that he’s like the perfect athlete.

“I’m trying to get to that level [physically], but I’m quite a way behind.”

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund  - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One
Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Chelsea should appeal to Bellingham, along with other young English talents

It seems like Chelsea will have to play the long game with Bellingham, but surely he’ll return to English football at some stage later in his career.

He’s an all-action central midfielder that is already so mature for his age.

It’s a massive statement in itself that he’s played for England in a European Championship at his age, so it’s exciting to see how he develops.

Meanwhile, James is a powerhouse full-back that has now been praised for his physicality by so many players in interviews, which is not a surprise to fans that watch him on a weekly basis.

He’s part of a core group of English superstars at Stamford Bridge and Bellingham would slot in seamlessly.

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