Manchester United and RB Leipzig set to battle for Chelsea youngster


Chelsea youngster Reece James is reportedly attracting interest from Manchester United and Red Bull Leipzig.

The 16-year-old utility player is one of the Blues’ hottest prospects and he started in the EFL Trophy penalty shoot-out win over Oxford earlier this month. He has trained with Antonio Conte’s first team this season and is drawing plenty of admirers from all over Europe.

Reece James has been with Chelsea since the age of six and has graduated through the ranks at the Blues. He started for Chelsea against Oxford United in the EFL Trophy a week ago at Stamford Bridge and provided an impressive display. The teenager is set to turn 17 in December, who signed academy forms earlier in June this year.

James could be enticed by the enthusiasm from Manchester United and Red Bull Leipzig considering Chelsea’s poor reputation of giving first-team chances to its own academy graduates and could easily be persuaded to jump ship.

According to the Daily Mail, United are closely following James’ development but Chelsea are unlikely to let an academy product as talented as James slip away into the hands of a rival.

The Red Devils face competition from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig who are eyeing a number of British talents after signing £13m Scotland winger Oliver Burke from Nottingham Forest this summer. The powerful winger has proved a hit for the Bundesliga leaders, who will continue their model of snapping up young talents and developing them.

Red Bull’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick also watched Reece in action during his visit to London in recent weeks.

The Bundesliga newcomers have taken the league and Europe by storm and currently sit second on the table behind Bayern Munich on goal difference. And now, after the success of Oliver Burke, they would try to persuade other British talents. And if Chelsea don’t rectify their poor record of youth promotion, Reece James’ willingness to stay at his boyhood club will certainly be at stake.

Photo by Tom Cuppens