Manchester City want to bring Chelsea right-back Reece James to the Etihad Stadium this summer, according to The Athletic.
Manager Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of the England international having been impressed with his last two performances against his side.
James’ ability to play at centre-back and midfield has also caught the eyes of the Man City boss, and is looking to lure him away from Chelsea before the end of the summer transfer window.
Guardiola wants to strengthen his side for next season’s Premier League title defence, while also hoping to go one better in the Champions League.
The Chelsea star stopped Raheem Sterling in last season’s final, and the Man City manager reckons his defensive and attacking abilities would help strengthen his squad going forward.
The Premier League champions currently have Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo at options at right-back, but could do with another versatile option in the 21-year-old.
However, whether James would be willing to swap Stamford Bridge for the Etihad remains to be seen.
The defender has four years left on his contract, and Chelsea and manager Thomas Tuchel are not likely to be considering letting him go.
Man City are heavily prioritising English players this summer having been already linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, with the side looking to further strengthen their homegrown options and contingent.
There must be at least eight homegrown players in every 25-man top-flight squad, and having already seen Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden establish themselves as key players for City, the club are ready to invest more in local talents, with James a top target for the summer.
Guardiola could have as many as seven England internationals in his starting XI next season if things go as planned, and the FA would be proud of their players’ growth in recent years if that happens.