Chelsea have reportedly rejected a big move from Crystal Palace for defender Reece James.
According to the Independent, Palace launched a £25million bid this week for the teenager and saw their efforts knocked back.
It is understood that Palace also offer the option of an 18-month loan, but the Blues rejected that too and have big plans for him.
The report details that Chelsea want the 19-year-old to sign a “new and improved” contract at Stamford Bridge.
It’s explained that Frank Lampard’s side have now rejected approaches from Palace, Brighton, Bournemouth and Newcastle for their highly-rated defender.
James is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, but he should be extremely encouraged that Chelsea are digging their heels in over his future and are planning a new deal.
The right-back excelled last season with Wigan Athletic during a loan in the Championship and it looks like he’s being considered for a first-team role this campaign.
He’s definitely a great option to compete with the experienced Cesar Azpilicueta when he’s fit again and deserves a senior call-up.
James is an athletic full-back that has all the potential to be a success in the top-flight, with his pace and power when defending and attacking.
The full-back area is perhaps one of the weaker positions that Lampard needs to address and Davide Zappacosta hasn’t shown enough to suggest he can be an Azpilicueta successor.