Chelsea offer Reece James in straight swap deal for midfielder Real Madrid Valverde

Chelsea have reportedly ‘offered’ Real Madrid Reece James in a straight swap for midfielder Fede Valverde.

The Blues have spent over £1bn on new players since Todd Boehly and Clearlake took charge of the club last year but only managed a 12th-placed finish last season and are currently languishing in 14th this term having picked up just five points from their opening five games.

And Nacional claim Chelsea are continuing to scour the tranfer market for further additions to right the Stamford Bridge ship.

Valverde has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the last year or so and it’s claimed Madrid are now open to his sale.

The Spanish giants are well stocked in midfield, with Jude Bellingham arriving in the summer to join Aurelien Tchouameni, Edouardo Camavinga, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos and Brahim Diaz as central midfield options.

Valverde’s best displays last season came on the right wing but with Carlo Ancelotti changing his formation to a 4-4-2 diamond to get the best out of Bellingham, the Uruguayan finds himself out of the team.

Nacional claim ‘Chelsea has been following in the footsteps of Fede Valverde for a long time’ and plans to offer James – ‘a player who’s been on Madrid’s agenda for some time’ – in exchange.

The report reckons both players are valued at €80m, though we suspect Chelsea would want significantly more than that for their club captain despite his injury woes.

Liverpool and Manchester United have both previously shown interst in Valverde, and it’s thought Chelsea would face competition from their Premier League rivals should the midfielder be made available for transfer.

But given Madrid’s need for a right-back to compete with 31-year-old Dani Carvajal, and their apparent obsession with James to be that man, Chelsea have a significant advantage over other interested parties.

James hasn’t featured for Chelsea since the opening weekend of the season having picked up a hamstring injury, and it’s not clear when he will return despite manager Mauricio Pochettino claiming last week that “he’s recovering well”.

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