Chelsea braced for ‘final bid’ from London rival for midfielder losing Graham Potter confidence
Crystal Palace are preparing to make a bid for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher in January after previously having him on loan, according to a report.
Gallagher spent the 2021-22 season at Crystal Palace, earning crucial experience in the Premier League. Following his 39 appearances and eight goals for them, he earned his chance back at parent club Chelsea.
However, the midfielder hasn’t yet been as prominent with Chelsea as he was with Palace, or West Brom before then. He has amassed 24 appearances this season since his return to Chelsea, but only 10 have been starts.
Since the return from the World Cup, where he was an unused member of the England squad, Gallagher has only once completed the full 90 minutes of a Premier League match, despite making five top-flight appearances in that time.
Coincidentally, that 90-minute outing was against Crystal Palace, who are being tipped to take Gallagher back to Selhurst Park.
According to The Sun, Patrick Vieira wants a reunion with Gallagher. As such, Palace are preparing their “final bid” for the 22-year-old.
This time, they want to take him to south London on a permanent basis. Chelsea have been expecting this to be the case for a number of months. Although the price tag is unclear, the report claims Palace chiefs are willing to spend on their former loanee.
It is also claimed that Graham Potter is eyeing further reinforcements who could push Gallagher further down the pecking order. Since his gametime is already waning, it may give the Chelsea academy graduate a dilemma.
Conor Gallagher still confident of Chelsea future
The report suggests he still sees a future for himself at Stamford Bridge. Therefore, he could yet reject Palace’s advances, forcing Vieira to look elsewhere.
Gallagher’s Chelsea contract is due to last until 2025. He appears to be ready to fight for his place in the months ahead.
Chelsea’s midfield is undergoing an evolution. It is likely that Jorginho will leave at the end of the season, but N’Golo Kante could extend his stay.
Still, the club will be looking to invest in reinforcements. The likes of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo have been linked.
Therefore, Gallagher will be hoping not to get left behind in Chelsea’s midfield shakeup. For now, though, it seems reasonable for him to try and stick it out for one full season in the first team at least.
But it seems Palace – who are also looking at targets at right-back and up front, but are facing similar frustrations with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Danny Ings respectively – might have moved on by the summer. Given how well he did there before, they could have been the ideal next destination if he doesn’t make the grade at Chelsea.
Gallagher may have to give thought to any approach that comes before then. However, he is a good enough player to attract other clubs if Palace drop their interest later in the year.
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