Los Blancos have previously sounded out the England international, and they plan to move for him next summer.
James is Madrid’s top target to replace Dani Carvajal after exploring other options such as Juan Foyth, Davide Calabria and Joao Cancelo.
However, Madrid are aware the move could prove expensive. They believe Chelsea will let him go for around €65 million but will test their resolve with a €40m bid.
Madrid have had success snagging Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but those deals were only possible because the players were in the final year of their contracts.
James recently signed a new contract to stay at Stamford Bridge until 2028. Chelsea rewarded him by making him the captain of the team.
He has been one of Chelsea’s best performers since returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic.
The 23-year-old had a successful 2018/19 season with the Latics in the Championship before Frank Lampard gave him his debut at Chelsea.
The Cobham academy graduate has since made 148 appearances for the Blues, bagging 11 goals and 20 assists, earning a reputation as one of the best in the world in his position.
He is now an English international, making 16 appearances for the Three Lions.
James has been at Chelsea all his life and has reaffirmed his desire to stay at the club for years. It will be difficult for Madrid to take him from Chelsea’s grip, but they want to push for him.
James is currently sidelined with an injury and is working his way back to full fitness. He is already working on the pitch but hasn’t resumed first-team training.
He will hope to put behind his poor luck with injuries that hampered his 2022/23 campaign and return to action soon.
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