£65m bid, Tottenham exit, Aston Villa talks - Final Conor Gallagher Chelsea transfer verdict

Conor Gallagher looks on during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Chelsea FC at City Ground.
-Credit: (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

There has been a lot of talk around the future of Conor Gallagher at Chelsea for the last six months.

Despite him being a key player for the club in the 2023/24 season, and often wearing the armband, he is said to be one of the players available for transfer this summer. Some reports even suggest the decision was one of the contentious points between the club and former manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of his exit.

Aston Villa and Tottenham are the two teams to have been the most strongly linked with an interest so far this summer. La Liga side Atletico Madrid have also been mentioned.

This of course comes just days after the club announced the appointment of Enzo Maresca as the new head coach. How much of a say the Italian has on Gallagher’s future is still to be seen.

With so much noise around the player's future, our writers have given their verdict on whether Chelsea should cash in this summer. Here is what they had to say.

Joe Doyle

Conor Gallagher's future is not a simple decision.

If it's cold, hard cash you're looking at, £50million would be a great number for an academy graduate with a year left on his contract. But I don't think they're going to get that - rival clubs are looking at him in the hope of getting a bargain, and that fee doesn't represent a good deal.

If it's something more like £35million, there are better options to get that sort of cash. The likes of Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja haven't set down roots in the first team like Gallagher - Lewis Hall is moving to Newcastle for around that fee.

The wage demand might prove key. Gallagher could be searching for parity with peers like Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo. He may have earned that, but will he get it?

If they get an offer of around £50million, they may have to let him leave to ease the financial burden the owners have put on the club over the last couple of years. But are the options to replace him in the side any better? Not currently. They'd probably have to buy again, keeping the cycle going.

The club have to consider the message this sends to players in the academy and young stars they are hoping to sign: even if you are considered captain material, you are disposable.

Tom Coley

Until Chelsea demonstrate that 1) the players they are signing are significantly better than Gallagher, or 2) that they can provide a pathway for younger recruits so that they will soon surpass Gallagher, then selling him really makes no sense. They have potential but so far nobody actually outperforming Gallagher.

He was the club's best midfielder in 2023/24 despite being up against £100million additions Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo. He managed more in the final half of the last game of the season than injury-burned Romeo Lavia has all season, and as for those who were away on loan, he played more in added time than Andrey Santos managed all season at Nottingham Forest.

Chelsea are acting like a club that is extremely confident that losing him will not only have little impact on the playing squad (it will) but also that it is in the best interests to do so. Even £65million for him - the same that they received for Mason Mount - will be of no worth other than to aid the financial position that the current regime got Chelsea into, if those signed to replace Gallagher are not equal or better than him.

Amie Wilson

While Gallagher has been a key player, if Chelsea’s valuation - which is said to be over £50million - is reached, then they should take the money. Given that Gallagher has just one year remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge, turning down a fee of more than £50million would be a very risky move, especially given the club’s PSR worries and the pure profit that the sale would bring.

Maresca will want to go into the new season with a squad as strong as possible, so will need to bring in a replacement. It’s also less than ideal selling to a potential rival in Villa or Tottenham next season, so Chelsea can get Atletico involved in the race, then it could benefit both parties.

Kieran King

Despite the fact Chelsea may have to sell this summer to comply with FFP and PSR rules and regulations, Gallagher is someone they should keep. The 24-year-old was their best-performing midfielder during the 2023/24 season and could be integral when Maresca gets a stranglehold on his new squad.

He started in every game bar one in the Premier League, scoring five times and adding seven assists. Gallagher also captained the side during the final 12 matches and it would feel like a wrong move for Boehly and the Chelsea board to sell a player who has been so influential this season.

Plus, if the rumoured £50million valuation is correct, that would be less than the amount the Blues sold Mason Mount to Manchester United for last summer. Although Gallagher - same as Mount - has just one year left on his contract, Chelsea could still surely fetch more for him.

Jack Flintham

Chelsea never seem to cover themselves in glory during transfer windows these days and the persistent speculation surrounding Gallagher's future is a key example. Other than Cole Palmer, you would struggle to find a more consistent performer than the stand-in captain this season.

With Reece James out of the squad through injury, the Blues needed someone to step up and fill those leadership boots and Gallagher did just that. At 24, the midfielder is only going to get better and looks to be primed for a key role at this summer's European Championships.

If he is to be sold, which I am dead against, then a transfer abroad needs to be arranged. It would be an extremely unwise decision to sell to either Villa or Spurs considering these are two clubs who Chelsea should be battling hard with to reach the Champions League next season.

The final decision on Gallagher will be a measure of the type of ship Todd Boehly is running at Stamford Bridge.