Report: Manchester City now want 22-year-old Chelsea player to be long-term replacement for their £53m man

Manchester City reportedly want Reece James to be Kyle Walker’s long-term successor.

According to the Daily Mail, the newly-crowned Premier League champions have Chelsea’s sparkling defender on their radar as a replacement for Walker.

Manchester City want Reece James to replace Walker

City’s whirlwind right-back still has plenty of gas left in the tank and isn’t out of contract until 2024.

However, at 31-years of age and with injuries beginning to creep in, the England international will eventually run out of steam.

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Whilst this probably won’t happen for a while, Pep Guardiola seemingly has a plan up his sleeve for when the day happens.

That plan being the formidable figure of Thomas Tuchel’s primary right wing-back.

James already looks the most likely candidate to succeed Walker internationally, but very few Chelsea fans could contemplate it happening at club level.

He is very much the present and future of Chelsea, one of the few players guaranteed to be part of the project next season.

Whilst many of those around him continue to fear for their place at Stamford Bridge, the young full-back can feel pretty confident about his position.

Unless, of course, the unthinkable happens and City manage to get hold of James and pull him to the Etihad.

City love to splash out

Surely only a huge sum of many will make Tuchel’s employers even consider letting the academy graduate go.

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Todd Boehly is reportedly planning on renewing James’ and Mason Mount’s contracts, to avoid them being snapped up by a rival.

However, City are no strangers to throwing big money at full-backs.

They signed Walker for £53m (Guardian), Joao Cancelo for £60m (BBC), Benjamin Mendy for £52m (BBC) and Danilo (who they eventually swapped for Cancelo) for £26.5m (BBC).

So don’t expect a price tag to put them off.

It might not happen this summer, or even the next, but Guardiola’s bosses could be at James’ door before too long.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.