Chelsea 'hold informal talks' over Conor Gallagher swap deal after change of heart

Conor Gallagher continues to be linked with a move away from Chelsea. (Image: Getty.)

Chelsea have reportedly held informal talks with Aston Villa over the prospect of a swap deal involving Conor Gallagher and striker Jhon Duran, but the Blues may yet change their mind on losing the England midfielder this summer.

With just a year left on his current contract, unless Chelsea are able to tie the 24-year-old down to a new deal, they risk Gallagher leaving on a free transfer in 12 months’ time if he is not sold.

Tottenham, Villa and Atletico Madrid are among the willing suitors, but no side have been prepared to match Chelsea’s £50million price tag, especially when the prospect exists of signing him for free at the end of next season.

Chelsea and Gallagher appear no closer to agreeing terms on a new contract since the situation arose a year ago when he became an influential player in the dressing room and was given a starring role under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Guardian claim that despite holding casual conversations with Villa concerning the possibility of a Gallagher-Duran swap deal, that plan does not appeal to the midfielder. Chelsea are instead set to make a concerted effort to keep the former Swansea and Crystal Palace loanee at Stamford Bridge.

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Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran remains of interest to Chelsea. (Image: Getty)

Gallagher wants to remain in west London and Chelsea are open to turning down offers from rivals this summer if talks over a contract extension resume. Any concrete discussions will wait until after Euro 2024, however, with the player willing to remain with the Blues for another year.

But Chelsea’s priority is not to lose Gallagher on a free transfer, aware that selling him would represent pure profit on the financial books, despite fears easing over the upcoming Premier League profit and sustainability accounting deadline on June 30.

There have been rumours that Gallagher does not fit in new Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca’s system for next season, but that has not stopped the midfielder from expressing his excitement about the prospect of working with the ex-Leicester head coach.

“It’s really exciting,” he told Sky Sports following England’s 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina when asked about Maresca’s appointment. “I’ve heard and seen really good things. Myself and everyone at Chelsea are really excited to work with him.

“We want to get Chelsea back to where they belong so with the new manager we can progress to get where we belong.”

Should fruitful discussions take place regarding an extended stay at the club for Gallagher, then talks of a swap deal and permanent departure can finally be quelled and all parties can start to move forward in a new era for Chelsea.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1910541/Chelsea-transfer-news-Conor-Gallagher-Villa-contract