Chelsea 'hold talks' with Prem rival over Gallagher transfer as swap deal emerges

Conor Gallagher has emerged as a transfer target for Aston Villa. (Image: Getty)

Aston Villa have reportedly emerged as a leading candidate to sign Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher this summer.

The midfielder is a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, but could be sold in order to help ease FFP concerns.

As per The Athletic, Aston Villa are among the teams interested in Gallagher’s services, with ‘preliminary talks’ held already between the two clubs.

Unai Emery is looking to add fresh talent to the Aston Villa ranks this summer ahead of the club’s first season in the Champions League since the competition’s rebrand.

Gallagher is considered the ideal candidate to join the West Midlands-based outfit, with Aston Villa having made contact with the midfielder’s camp.

Their pursuit of Gallagher could be made easier because of Chelsea’s interest in Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran.

The Blues were said to have considered a move for Duran during the January window and the forward is once again on Chelsea’s radar this summer.

Elsewhere, it’s claimed the ex-MLS frontman has also attracted attention from clubs in Italy, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

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

However, Gallagher did drop a hint away on international duty that his preference may be to remain at Chelsea, where he is exciting to link up with incoming head coach Enzo Maresca.

“[The appointment] is really exciting,” he said. “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.”

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That decision may be taken out of his hands though, if Villa can strike a deal with Chelsea, which could benefit both clubs if Duran is sent in the opposite direction.