Man City interested in a move for this rising Chelsea star – A signing that Guardiola must avoid?


Manchester City after Reece James

As per a report by The Athletic (Subscription Required) [h/t The Mirror], Chelsea right-back, Reece James, is on the wishlist of Manchester City. Pep Guardiola is said to be a ‘huge admirer’ of the 21-year-old as he continues to impress for the Blues. James is a product of Chelsea’s youth academy.

And with four years still left on his deal, the Blues would think they are in a strong position regarding any potential negotiation. The report also mentions that Chelsea want to keep him at Stamford Bridge, which is pretty expected. And here we see why it is futile for City to chase the youngster.

City already have full-backs

Manchester City might be lacking depth in some areas on the pitch, but right-back doesn’t seem to be one of those positions. The Premier League champions already have Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo on their books, both of who fight for starts down that right-hand side. And both of them have long-term contracts as well.

Reece James during his loan spell at Wigan Athletic from Chelsea.
Reece James during his loan spell at Wigan Athletic from Chelsea.

Walker penned a new deal at the Etihad in 2019, which keeps him at the club until the summer of 2024. Similarly, Cancelo signed a 6-year deal when he signed in 2019 from Juventus. That means his deal would run until 2025. So there is no urgency for City when it comes to the length of their right-backs’ contracts.

And it’s not like one is the clear choice for them in that position. Both Cancelo and Walker featured prominently in the league this season. The Portuguese international made 28 league appearances, just four more than Walker. They are also not at an age that would convince Guardiola that he needs a replacement.

Walker and Cancelo recently turned 31 and 27 respectively last month, and it is evident that they have a lot of football left in them. Another problem City is the need to strengthen elsewhere on the pitch, especially the No.9 position.

Reece James of Chelsea is linked with a transfer switch to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.
Reece James of Chelsea is linked with a transfer switch to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. (GETTY Images)

It’s better to pursue other deals

As per ESPN, Aguero is a Barcelona player after his deal at The Etihad expired this summer. A potent goal-scorer for the club in the past decade, it is evident that Guardiola would want to replace him in the team somehow. And it is a position that seems to be a priority for City.

Manchester Evening News links City with a move for England duo, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, who are ‘talked about’ as £100million+ players. In light of that, it is better for the Cityzens to focus their transfer budget in an area where depth is actually needed. Kane, in that regard, would be a massive potential signing.

There is also the question of how easy or difficult it would be to sign James in the first place. If he was an unimportant player for Thomas Tuchel, then perhaps City would have had an easier time negotiating a deal for him. But as it turns out, the young Englishman is a vital first-team player who has fou years left on his contract.

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James made 47 appearances for Chelsea this past season. Considering this, it is hard to imagine Tuchel letting go of James too easily. Hence, there is no urgent need for Guardiola to pursue a potentially tough deal for James.