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27-year-old Chelsea target joins Union Berlin

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Josip Juranovic in action for Croatia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea miss on Reece James backup Josip Juranovic as the player joins Union Berlin

Chelsea have fallen short of finding a replacement for Reece James after missing out on signing 27-year-old Croatia international Josip Juranovic, who has joined Union Berlin from Celtic.

This comes after journalist Ben Jacobs tweeted (h/t Football.London) that Juranovic has joined the German club Union Berlin from Celtic.

“Union Berlin confirms right-back Josip Juranovic has joined from Celtic. Deal is worth a guaranteed £7.5m with add-ons taking it to a potential £10m package. 27-year-old was excellent at the World Cup for Croatia and also considered by several EPL clubs.”

This would be disappointing news for Chelsea, as they have not found a replacement for James. The Englishman is our first-choice right-back but has been marred with injuries this campaign.

33-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta, who frequently played centre-back, does not offer the same attacking impetus as James. He is a bit more rigid on the ball and has lost pace with his age.

But Juranovic isn’t the only fish in the sea. Plus, we have to make sure that we bring in a full-back that is quality but also accepts that he will be James’ understudy and/or backup.

Reece James leaves the field after picking up a knee injury on his return to action. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Reece James leaves the field after picking up a knee injury on his return to action.

Chelsea are apparently attempting to sign Denzel Dumfries from Inter Milan. This could be a great signing as the player has been excellent for Inter and the Netherlands in the World Cup and will also provide competition for James.

Given the lack of depth at right-back for Chelsea, Dumfries could see decent playing time. The Italian giants rejected the Blues’ prior offer of £30.8 million and demanded €55 million (£48.4 million) for the 26-year-old.

The Italian club seems to now be willing to accept £39.3 million for the player and will permit his departure if Chelsea offers an additional £8.5 million.

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Given how desperately we need a right-back, Dumfries may be the perfect match. We can only hope that he quickly integrates into the club’s philosophy and the Premier League’s surroundings. But then again, as we mentioned above, it will be key to ensure that Potter knows beforehand how he is going to manage the new right-back’s playing time with James in the team.

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