David Ornstein reveals final Chelsea decision on in-demand midfielder as another is offered Ligue 1 rescue
Chelsea have come to a decision about the future of wanted midfielder Conor Gallagher, according to an update by David Ornstein.
Gallagher has been among the Chelsea first team this season after being on loan at Crystal Palace last term. Although he has had a reasonable amount of opportunities, he understandably hasn’t been as involved at Stamford Bridge as he was at Selhurst Park.
Therefore, other clubs have been keeping tabs on the England international all month. Palace toyed with the idea of taking him back, before turning their attention to Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal instead.
Everton also made a bid for Gallagher on a permanent transfer, but he wasn’t interested in joining them.
There have since been suggestions of an alternative Merseyside move to Liverpool. The Reds’ need for new midfielders has been evident for months.
And Newcastle have remained in the background as additional admirers who could step up their interest. Jonjo Shelvey is on his way to Nottingham Forest, opening up a vacancy at St. James’ Park.
According to The Athletic reporter Ornstein, Chelsea have now firmed up their decision for Gallagher in the event of any late approaches.
Ornstein has tweeted that Gallagher is “staying at Chelsea”. He claims that the club “don’t want another loan” for the 22-year-old, so a permanent deal is the only way for others to get him.
But any offers of that type that have come in so far have been “well below valuation” for Chelsea.
Given that Everton’s offer was supposedly worth £45million, it seems highly unlikely anyone will meet Chelsea’s asking price if that wasn’t enough.
Therefore, Gallagher is set to stay at Stamford Bridge until the summer “at least” as Chelsea keep constructing their squad with an eye to the future. At his age, he could yet earn a place in their long-term vision.
Ornstein does leave the door open for a “late twist”, but it appears that Chelsea have made their decision.
Besides, talkSPORT are carrying their own version of the story. The radio station is indicating that Gallagher himself “has now decided to stay” at the club. Hence, he seems to be happy enough where he is.
Thus, Gallagher will get to add to the 25 appearances he has made so far this season. He has one goal and one assist to his name to date.
Chelsea have their academy graduate under contract until 2025.
Chelsea midfielder linked with sudden change
Meanwhile, another Chelsea-owned midfielder has a better chance of changing clubs.
Tiemoue Bakayoko is still on the Blues’ books, currently on loan at AC Milan. However, they have avoided using him this season so they don’t have to buy him.
It has created a dilemma for the player and Chelsea. Indeed, his parent club still have the costly 2017 signing under contract until 2024, despite him only ever spending one season in their first team.
Reports on Monday revealed that Bakayoko was close to cancelling his arrangement with Milan in order to join Serie A basement side Cremonese.
His suitors have failed to win any of their 20 top-flight matches this season. Therefore, joining them would represent quite the fall from grace.
But now, on deadline day, a potentially more palatable escape route has opened up for the 28-year-old. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Lyon are now trying to take Bakayoko to Ligue 1.
Currently ninth in the French top flight, Lyon would be a more reputable club to join. They would be able to take Bakayoko back to his home country, potentially becoming the third club he has represented in Ligue 1 after Rennes and Monaco.
However, they have their work cut out to get everything sorted before the deadline. The deal remains difficult due to the lack of time remaining in the transfer window.
READ MORE: Chelsea in frantic talks to offload January signing already as lengthy negotiations reach critical stage