Chelsea starlet Reece James could be on his way to Manchester United or Red Bull Leipzig.
The 16-year-old, who can play in midfield and defence, has been at the London club since the age of six, and he reportedly trained at the club’s Cobham base with the first-team earlier this season.
According to The Daily Mail, James could be persuaded to leave the club due to Chelsea’s woeful record of allowing youngsters a path into the first-team – as demonstrated by the fact that they currently have 38 players on loan at different clubs, and a majority of those players have graduated from the academy.
James started the game against Oxford United in the EFL Trophy at Stamford Bridge last week, which ended in an incredible 34-penalty shoot-out – the longest shootout in English football history – that Chelsea won, but also saw them crash out of the competition after failing to make it out of their group.
Ralf Rangnick, Red Bull’s football guru and RB Leipzig chief, had been keeping an eye on the player every time he visits London. The club currently sit at the helm of the Bundesliga alongside Bayern Munich, and have seen a success in investing in British talent.
Scottish International Oliver Burke signed for Leipzig from Nottingham Forest for £13 million in the summer, and has been a crucial figure in their stunning start to the season so far.
Hence, the club are now said to be on the lookout for more upcoming talented youngsters in Britain, and have identified Reece James as a potential signing.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have struggled so far this season. However, they are still standing by their tradition of giving youngsters a chance. The likes of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have been regulars in the side, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah also started, and impressed, in the game against Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League.
The Red Devils have now also shown an interest in signing James, and are likely to go head to head with RB Leipzig for his signature.