Chelsea target World Cup star Josip Juranovic after latest Reece James injury setback


    Croatia v Brazil: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
    Josip Juranovic played a key role in Croatia’s run to third-place at the World Cup (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

    Chelsea are reportedly interested in Celtic and Croatia World Cup star Josip Juranovic following Reece James’ latest injury setback.

    James returned to action on Tuesday evening for Chelsea’s Premier League win over Bournemouth having only just recovered from the lengthy knee injury that forced him to miss Qatar 2022.

    However, the England right-back lasted just 52 minutes against the Cherries with his knee playing up again and the Blues have now confirmed that the 23-year-old is set to be out for another month.

    Given Graham Potter’s lack of depth in that position, the club have been linked with a number of players to act as cover as James has repeatedly struggled with injuries since his first-team breakthrough three years ago.

    Long-time target Denzel Dumfries has been touted as a potential signing, but, according to Sky Sports, Chelsea are now looking at a different World Cup defender.

    Juranovic played every minute of Croatia’s campaign as his side finished third in Qatar and was highly impressive, especially in their shock quarter-final win over Brazil on penalties.

    The 27-year-old, who is also capable of playing at left-back, has been attracting interest for some time with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid keeping tabs on his situation.

    Chelsea FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
    Reece James will be out for the next month with a knee injury (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

    While only valued at £8million, he still has three-and-half years left on his contract and as such Celtic are reluctant to let him go.

    It remains to be seen if Chelsea will move for Juranovic, with the club said to be assessing numerous options for the January transfer window.

    They’d be well placed to get any deal done quickly however given the large number of fixtures at the start of 2023.

    Next month, Potter’s side face back-to-back games against Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup as well as a trip to Liverpool as they attempt to move up the table from eighth place.

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