Chelsea’s Reece James is optimistic his World Cup dream will not be threatened by his knee injury


Reece James is expecting good news when he undergoes a definitive scan on a knee injury that has threatened his World Cup dream on Thursday.

The Chelsea full-back limped off in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-0 win over AC Milan at the San Siro after jarring his right knee.

The injury raised concerns over James’ involvement at the World Cup, with England boss Gareth Southgate desperate for good news – particularly given first-choice right-back Kyle Walker is in a race against time to be fit for the tournament after undergoing groin surgery.

And there was growing optimism that the injury is not serious and that James’ participation in Qatar shouldn’t be under threat.

He will undergo final tests in the next 24 hours to determine the extent of the injury, but it is understood James wasn’t in any significant discomfort on Wednesday, a positive sign ahead of definitive scans.

There remains a degree of caution given knee ligament injuries can be complex to identify, but all the indications are that James could be available within 10 days.

If the indications are correct, the news will come as a major boost to Southgate and Chelsea boss Graham Potter, who has been hugely impressed with James.

Meanwhile, Southampton are in advanced talks to poach highly-rated talent spotter Joe Shields from Southampton as they look to appoint a new director of recruitment.

Shields only joined from Manchester City in the summer, taking up the role as head of senior recruitment.

But he is set to swap the south coast for south-west London, where he will take up the position of director of recruitment.

Shields – who recommended Jadon Sancho to City in 2015 – has built an impressive reputation in recruitment circles in recent years.

It is understood that Chelsea will pay significant compensation to Southampton for Shields.

Elsewhere, Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber is a serious contender for the role as Chelsea’s sporting director.

Webber has held talks with the Premier League club about the position but have not made an offer as they continue the process.

Talks, though, were said to be positive and Webber is understood to be emerging as a strong candidate.

The Blues are also set to appoint Christopher Vivell into the position as technical director after the administrator left his role at Red Bull Leipzig.


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