Chelsea right-back Reece James has signed a new contract with the club which will make him the highest paid defender in the club’s history, the club announced on their website.
James signs a five-year contract and will earn £250,000 a week with the club with the option of another year. He will be one of the highest paid defenders in Europe.
After a summer of big spending, Todd Boehly and the Clearlake Consortium are now trying to secure the long-term future of their young talent.
Boehly introduced an American-style contract policy for players under 25, locking them into contracts for as long as seven years.
New signings Marc Cucurella and Carney Chukwuemeka have signed six-year contracts, while Wesley Fofana signed a seven-year contract after leaving Leicester City.
They have tied Armando Broja to a six-year contract following links with moves to Southampton and West Ham United. They have now followed a deal for James.
He has become an essential member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad since the German took over. Since returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic in 2019, he has gradually risen through the ranks.
James said: “I am delighted with my new contract and I am grateful to the fans, the new owner and everyone involved at the club.
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us, and I’m sure we’ll have the chance to win many trophies.
“I grew up supporting this club and I’ve been here since I was six, putting pen to paper on a new contract because this is the club I want to be at.
“I would like to especially thank the fans, I am here to stay and we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Co-owners Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano said: “Reece is a very special footballer and we love having him at Chelsea under our ownership.”
“His mix of physical and technical ability is a huge asset to our team now and for many years to come.”
James has scored ten goals and assisted 20 for the Chelsea first team in 128 appearances. He has seven goals and 15 assists in 87 Premier League appearances.
He joined Chelsea’s academy aged six. He rose through the youth ranks and graduated from Cobham Academy.
James won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup with Chelsea. He also reached three FA Cup finals and one Carabao Cup final.
He has made five appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League this season. James already has a goal and an assist.
Teammates Mason Mount and Edouard Mendy are next in line for new contracts. The club will then review the situation of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.