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Chelsea ready to revive interest in Josip Juranovic

Chelsea are interested in signing Celtic defender Josip Juranovic as a possible replacement for Reece James, according to Daily Mail.

James is expected to miss three to four weeks with a knee injury suffered during Tuesday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth.

The England international, who missed the 2022 World Cup with an injury to the same knee, had to come off in the 53rd minute of the game after aggravating the issue. 

The set-back has led to reports that Graham Potter will now look to bolster his squad in the winter transfer window with a new right-back to help support James.

The Daily Mail states that the Blues were interested in Juranovic during the summer window and have now revived their interest in the wake of James’ injury. The report goes on to claim that a deal could be wrapped up quickly once the January market reopens on Sunday.

Replacement for Reece James

Juranovic, who is valued at around £7.9m by Transfermarkt, is attracting interest from several clubs but Chelsea are believed to be leading the race for his signature.

According to Daily Mail, James’ injury accelerated Chelsea’s long-term interest in the Croatia international, who could cost as little as £8m.

Celtic are understood to be open to listening to offers for the defender in January amid growing Premier League interest. The Scottish club are said to have already agreed a deal to sign right back Alistair Johnston from MLS club CF Montreal.

Juranovic was one of the standout defenders at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he was named in the Team of the Tournament following his inspired performance for Croatia.

The 27-year-old featured in all of Croatia’s games in Qatar as they beat Morocco to finish third in the tournament.

This season, he has made 15 appearances for Celtic in all competitions, scoring once and providing one assist in the process.

He was immense last season in Celtic’s title-winning defence which saw him earn a spot in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year.

Juranovic is believed to be well suited for the Premier League and his style of play will be beneficial for Chelsea who have set sights on finishing in the top four after a slow start to the 2022/23 campaign.

Read more: Man Utd & Chelsea eye move to sign £25m international star – report

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