Conor Gallagher is ready to stand firm and fight for his future at Chelsea despite the club agreeing to listen to offers for the midfielder this month.
Gallagher’s contract expires at the end of next season and there is no sign of a new contract being agreed. Chelsea, who are in talks to loan Ian Maatsen to Borussia Dortmund with an option to buy, are reluctant to keep players whose contracts are expiring. They would prefer to act to avoid any prospect of losing Gallagher on a free transfer, particularly taking into account financial fair play considerations.
However, the England international is in no rush to leave the club and is unlikely to be pressured to make any decisions about his future. Gallagher is a product of Chelsea’s academy and has established himself in the first team this season.
Nothing has been decided yet and Chelsea, who have spent around £1bn on transfers under the ownership of Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital, have not ruled out agreeing a contract extension with the England international. Gallagher has played well this season and is valued by Mauricio Pochettino, the board and the recruitment team. At the same time, Chelsea have FFP to factor in and would find it difficult to turn down an offer of at least £50m for the 23-year-old.
Tottenham and West Ham tried to sign Gallagher last summer but were put off by his asking price. Spurs were quoted at £50m. They remain interested but have not held talks with Chelsea about a deal this month. It remains to be seen whether anyone is capable of meeting Chelsea’s valuation at this point in the season. Newcastle and Bayern Munich are also linked with Gallagher.
Gallagher, a fan favorite, is not expected to move during this window. Pochettino values him for his energy, versatility and pressing, and Gallagher has worn the armband when Reece James and Ben Chilwell have been absent this season.
The impression around the training ground is that Gallagher is hoping to lead Chelsea in next month’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley. Pochettino’s side face champion opponents in the semi-finals in Middlesbrough this month.
The uncertainty will remain if Gallagher stays but doesn’t sign a new contract before the summer. Chelsea sold another popular academy product, Mason Mount, to Manchester United last summer. Mount had a one-year contract and talks over an extension had failed.
Selling academy players helps Chelsea’s FFP situation as the money received evaporates as pure profit. This partly explains her willingness to part ways with Maatsen. Bayern Munich are also eyeing Trevoh Chalobah as he recovers from a hamstring injury, and Armando Broja’s situation could change if Chelsea sign a top striker.
Maatsen’s departure could prompt Chelsea to target a left-back. They are also looking into signing a central defender.