The lowdown: Top talent
Already a regular for both club and country, the 22-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise to the forefront of the elite game having come through the youth ranks in London.
A key member of Thomas Tuchel’s side that beat City in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League final, James has amassed 123 appearances for Chelsea having also made 46 senior outings whilst on loan at Wigan.
Despite being under contract until 2025 (Transfermarkt), City boss Pep Guardiola looks to have earmarked James as a potential target to add to the champions’ squad…
The latest: Next in line
It’s claimed that James is viewed as a long-term successor to his international teammate and as such Chelsea are looking to negotiate a new deal with the versatile ace as a ‘priority’ once the takeover has been completed.
The report also states that the new deal for the youngster hailed as ‘phenomenal’ by Ally McCoist following the right-back’s thunderous goal against Juventus could see him earn around £200,000 per week.
The verdict: Statement signing
James suffered an injury-hit campaign in 2021/22 but still managed six goals and ten assists in 39 appearances across all competitions, earning an outstanding 7.40 Sofascore rating whilst winning 4.5 duels, making 47.5 accurate passes and taking 1.4 shots on average per game in the process.
Capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, at centre-back and as a naturally attacking right-back, versatility that is well suited to Guardiola’s full-back orientated style, James shares similar traits with Juan Cuadrado, Alphonso Davies and City’s own Joao Cancelo (Fbref).
At 31, there is still plenty of elite football left in Walker, but lining up the London-born star as an instant replacement is certainly a wise move and although the prospects of landing a player from a major domestic rival seem farfetched, if City were able to emulate something like the deal that brought Walker to the Etihad from Tottenham for £45million (BBC), it would be a huge capture for the Sky Blues.
In other news… a BBC pundit has dropped this huge Man City transfer claim
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