Everton manager Frank Lampard has already spoken to Chelsea about his transfer interest in Conor Gallagher, TEAMtalk understands.
Lampard has had an instant impact at Everton, turning the mood at the club around following Rafael Benitez’s sacking. In fact, he made his mark straight away on January transfer deadline day.
He brought in Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United, the Netherlands star looking for more game time. Alli, meanwhile, looked for a fresh start and left Tottenham on a permanent deal.
Both midfielders have enjoyed the start to their Everton careers. TEAMtalk understands, though, that Lampard now has his sights set on adding Gallagher to his ranks.
The Crystal Palace star, on loan from Chelsea, left Stamford Bridge in the summer to seek regular game time.
However, he has turned into one of the signings of the season for Eagles boss Patrick Vieira. As a result, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted that he plans to integrate Gallagher into his first team next season.
Nevertheless, Lampard – who got the sack at Chelsea before Tuchel arrived – also knows Gallagher well.
TEAMtalk has now learned that he has therefore not been shy to register interest in signing the midfielder for Everton.
Gallagher will cost Palace £60m from Chelsea
Conor Gallagher would cost Crystal Palace £60m according to former player Darren Ambrose
Lampard has been keen to make sure the Toffees are at the front of the queue if Chelsea let Gallagher leave on loan again.
Gallagher has now played 51 Premier League games, but none have come at Chelsea. He initially impressed last season at West Brom, despite their eventual relegation.
However, he has gone to a new level at Palace this season, even making his senior England debut in November.
Gallagher has scored seven goals and assisted three others in the Premier League this season.
Despite Everton’s interest, they will not be the only club wanting Gallagher if Chelsea decide to let him go.
Conor Gallagher dilemma mirrored by Broja
But Gallagher is not the only Chelsea loan star facing a key crossroads over his career in the summer.
Albania international striker Armando Broja has impressed on his own loan spell with Southampton.
The Saints reportedly thought about a significant transfer bid to sign the 20-year-old permanently in January.
They could yet go after him in the summer, but Chelsea could – as they plan to with Gallagher – integrate Broja into their first team.
Nevertheless, Chelsea are in a fantastic position. They can choose to either add exciting talents to their first team, or sell the academy graduate pair for a significant profit.