Chelsea turned down £20m bid from PL club for promising right-back
Chelsea have turned down a £20m offer from Crystal Palace for highly-rated academy graduate Reece James as they see him as an essential footballer for the future. English starlet is yet to play for the Blues at senior level but enjoyed an eye-catching season on loan at Wigan in the Championship last campaign, making 45 appearances in total.
Reece excellent performances for the Latics did not go unnoticed as Eagles identified him as a potential replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka who joined Man United for £50m. However, the London club rejected their bid for James as they want to keep him this campaign, in part due to their inability to add any footballers after being banned by FIFA.
Frank Lampard has challenged his young footballers to stake a claim for a first-team place during pre-season, but the 19-year-old starlet has been unable to impress after suffering an ankle injury last month. U20 England international sustained ligament damage while playing for his country against Chile in the Toulon tournament in June.
It means that he will miss the start of the campaign, although Blues are hopeful that he will be available for selection again in September. Reece has been tipped to challenge long-serving Cesar Azpilicueta for his place at right-back, while he also performed well in a defensive midfield role for Wigan at times last campaign.
One Chelsea youngster who looks set to depart, though, is Ethan Ampadu with the 18-year-old expected to join RB Leipzig on a season-long loan imminently. Frank Lampard also decided to keep Kurt Zouma in London club despite Everton offer.