According to the Sun, Steve Bruce is a big fan of Chelsea right-back Reece James. The report says that Bruce will try to bring the youngster in on loan in January.
The 19-year-old was recently called up to Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under-21 team but has yet to make an appearance.
James has made just 5 appearances this season at Stamford Bridge with 2 of those starts. However, only one of those starts was in the Premier League as the youngster is firmly behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the pecking order.
James missed the first month of the season with an ankle injury that he suffered on international duty this summer. He is a product of the Chelsea Academy and was outstanding last season while on loan at Wigan.
There are two issues we see with this story. The first is that Newcastle have three right-backs on the books in DeAndre Yedlin, Emil Krafth, and Javier Manquillo.
Manquillo’s contract runs out in the summer of 2020, and he could be allowed to leave in the winter window. That theoretically could clear a pathway for James; however, there is another obstacle to that occurring.
What Steve Bruce may encounter is an unwilling Frank Lampard. Chelsea don’t have another natural right-back in the squad, so Lampard may not allow the budding star to leave in January.
Chelsea may not be allowed to replace any outgoings due to their current transfer ban. Though, the Sun also report that Chelsea are quietly confident the ban will be lifted in January.
Chelsea turned down a £10m bid from Brighton for James in April. Leeds’ Marcelo Bielsa is also apparently very interested in the player.
We don’t see this one coming to anything even if Javier Manquillo leaves in January.