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Chelsea have told Manchester City that Reece James is not for sale and will remain an integral part of their first-team plans, talkSPORT understands.
The reigning Premier League champions have kept close tabs on James for some time, as per the Athletic, while City are also expected to bid for fellow England stars Harry Kane and Jack Grealish this summer.
But the Blues will not entertain any offers for their talented academy graduate.
James is highly-rated by Chelsea hierarchy and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel views the 21-year-old as an essential part of his squad.
Chelsea’s pursuit of Inter Milan full-back Achraf Hakimi had raised some concerns around James’s camp that he could be deemed surplus to requirements, but the defender has been assured that is not the case.
James signed a new contract last year worth in the region of £100,000-a-week during his breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge.
But his meteoric rise to Premier League stardom – which has seen him make 84 appearances in all competitions – has impressed Chelsea chiefs who are already discussing the possibility of offering him a new and improved deal.
James also fought off stiff competition to land a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020, starting the second group game against Scotland.
Meanwhile, the west London side remain locked in negotiations with Manchester United regarding a potential deal for Reece’s sister Lauren.
The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the best prospects in the women’s game and while she won’t force a move away from Manchester, it’s understood she is keen on returning to London on a full-time basis.
Talks have been ongoing between the relevant parties for several months, with that process always likely to be protracted – such is the regard United hold James in.
However, there remains a growing optimism around Chelsea that a deal will eventually be struck with the Red Devils.