Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he tried to sign reported Crystal Palace target Reece James while in charge of Derby County, the Daily Mail report.
James spent last season on loan at Championship club Wigan Athletic.
The talented right-back impressed so much that fellow Championship clubs were hoping he would return to Stamford Bridge in January and be sent out on loan again.
Speaking to reporters, Lampard admits Derby tried to sign him.
I tried to get him on loan at Derby last January. His delivery is too good, and when I say ‘too good’, I’m joking but I mean that we need to read what he’s doing. Without getting too far ahead, even though Trent (Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold) is that good, he’ll be challenging him.
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Reece James won Wigan’s Player of the Year award last season.
His excellent performance reportedly attracted Premier League interest from elsewhere. The Mirror (21/7; Page 58) claim Crystal Palace bid £20 million for him.
Palace were looking for a new right-back after selling Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50 million. The Blues, however, rejected the Eagles’ approach.
James has gone on to feature in over 20 games for Chelsea this season.
Derby had Jayden Bogle at right-back last season. James, however, is also capable of playing as a holding midfielder. It’s likely the Rams targeted him for that role.