Chelsea are considering offering youngster Reece James a place in the first team next season as a result of his impressive form on loan with Wigan Athletic.
The 19-year-old right-back has enjoyed a fantastic campaign at the DW Stadium and was recently named in the Championship Team of the Year, prompting many Chelsea fans to demand his inclusion in the senior setup next season.
The club face a two-window transfer ban as a result of breaking rules relating to the signing of young players, and that punishment is set to begin next summer, although Chelsea are hoping to delay it by at least six months after an appeal.
James has been one of Wigan's standout performers this season, despite being just 19 and in his first season of senior football. He even trained with Gareth Southgate's England team during the last international break, and Chelsea are said to be aware of his high potential.
He could return to Stamford Bridge as a back-up for Cesar Azpilicueta, replacing current deputy Davide Zappacosta, who has struggled to make an impact since his £23m move in 2017.
The Italian has been heavily linked with a return to the Serie A, meaning there could be a place in the squad for a new right-back, and James is said to be one of the leading candidates for the role.
The youngster joined Chelsea as a six-year-old, meaning he counts as a homegrown player, which is valuable for the Blues in both domestic and European competition. They have lost Cesc Fabregas and Victor Moses this season, whilst Gary Cahill, Rob Green and Danny Drinkwater are all expected to leave in the summer, meaning Chelsea need some new homegrown talent.
James has made 38 appearances in all competitions this season, operating both as a right-back and central midfielder. He boasts impressive composure and passing, and has proven to be a valuable asset for the Latics this season.