Crystal Palace is eyeing blues defender Reece James as they scour for a replacement to Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Eagles made a record sale this transfer window after letting hot prospect Wan-Bissaka go to Man United for £50m.
The starlet has only one campaign of full Premier League experience, but the Norwegian manager is keen to strengthen his defence with young, British talents. Red Devils have also snatched up Daniel James, and plans are afoot to add Harry Maguire and Sean Longstaff.
But for the Palace, the search for a replacement has become their predominant objective – with just Martin Kelly and Joel Ward as their options. Armed with massive funds, they have pinpointed London club right-back Reece as the ideal man to fill Aaron’s boots.
He spent last season on loan to Wigan where he was awarded their young player of the season prize. James is highly-rated at Chelsea, where he was given the same award two years ago. Eagles are keen on signing the right-back on loan, to make a move permanent in one of the next summer.
The London-born defender is not just attracting attention from the Selhurst Park outfit, with Brighton and Burnley interested as well. However, it remains to be seen whether Blues would let him go with Frank Lampard wants to employ a policy of youth integration at the club since his appointment.
The 19-year-old footballer is one of a collection of academy products hoping to stake a claim in the first-team squad, along with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.