Read Transfer Details: Chelsea Agree Fee To Sign James From Man United
Chelsea F.C. Women have agreed on a record fee between Women’s Super League (WSL) clubs to sign Lauren James from Manchester United.
The deal is still pending personal terms but the forward looks set to join her brother Reece in west London.
Having obtained United’s permission, James has already completed her medical and is widely expected to join manager Emma Hayes’s double-winning side in a deal worth an initial £200,000, rising to £300,000 with add-ons – the biggest transfer ever between two WSL clubs.
United have been cautious about losing a star player to a rival but with just a year left on her contract, James has been able to get the move she desires.
It comes amid a summer crisis at United who lost their highly respected manager Casey Stoney. United narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification by one point in their first season in the Women’s Super League
Stoney resigned as manager in May 2021 after reportedly growing frustrated with the lack of investment in the infrastructure behind the scenes.
Chelsea are already heavily stocked in their forward line with Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder, Bethany England, Erin Cuthbert and Niamh Charles among their options.
However, Hayes has a habit of moving forward players into deeper roles through her coaching methods and could find a way to fit in James.
James is regarded as one of the finest young talents in English football having already earned a call-up into the senior national team.
At the end of the 2019-20 season, she finished as the top scorer for United and was named the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year.
She’s currently working with personal trainer Tom Joyce to keep fit ahead of the new season, despite being away on holiday.
The Blues, meanwhile, are keen to take their final step and win the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
They suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the final and it remains the only trophy that has evaded Hayes during her 10-year spell in charge at the club.