Chelsea have rejected a £20 million bid from Crystal Palace for Reece James. The Blues deemed their highly rated academy graduate as an important player that will have a vital role in the future.
James, 19, is yet to play for the Blues’ first team but had an excellent season on loan at Wigan Athletic in the Championship last season. Reece had 45 appearances with Wigan, and his amazing performance for the Latics did not go unnoticed as the Glaziers saw a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka in him. Wan-Bissaka left Crystal Palace for Manchester United in a £50 million move.
According to reports, the bosses at Stamford Bridge rejected the offer for James as the club is under a transfer embargo. The inability to sign new players forced the club and its new manager, Frank Lampard, to hold onto their existing players as much as possible.
Lampard, who replaced Maurizio Sarri recently, had to maximise all the resources he had on hand and exploit players at the academy and those on loan.
The new boss challenged all young players to gain a position in the senior team, but James suffered an ankle injury last month failing to impress Lampard. His injury came while playing for England Under 20s against Chile in the Toulon tournament in June. He underwent surgery to address the ligament damage and may have to miss the start of the season. The Blues are hoping that James can bounce back by September.
James is seen as a replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta in the defensive midfield role, with many citing his great performance at Wigan Athletic last season.
And while Chelsea refused to let go of James, another youngster is already set to play at the Bundesliga side on loan this season. 18-year-old Ethan Ampadu will be joining RB Leipzig on a season-long arrangement.