Chelsea could offer Conor Gallagher new contract despite transfer talk

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Conor Gallagher;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Conor Gallagher</a> is part of England’s squad at Euro 2024 and any serious negotiations are likely to have to wait until after the tournament.</span><span>Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images</span>

Chelsea are considering a shift in their position over selling Conor Gallagher and could make a concerted effort to agree a new deal with the midfielder.

Gallagher, who is out of contract at the end of next season, remains a candidate to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and is wanted by Aston Villa and Tottenham. But while there have been plenty of ­indications that Chelsea are actively ­looking to sell ­Gallagher, who is ­valued at a minimum of £50m, there has been a change in the noise around the situation.

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The possibility of a reversal has been ­strengthened by unexpected predictions from within the club, who are giving serious consideration to bolstering their attack by signing Villa’s Jhon Durán, that Gallagher will not be sold during this transfer window.

There is a danger for Chelsea that keeping the 24-year-old will open the possibility of him leaving on a free transfer next year. Yet the player’s pre­ference is to stay at his boyhood club and it is understood that ­Chelsea are open to securing his future if talks over a contract extension resume.

The situation remains unpre­dictable, however, not least because there have been informal talks between Chelsea and Villa over a swap deal involving Gallagher and Durán, who is valued at £40m. There is also yet to be any proper move towards Gallagher’s side. Any serious negotiations are likely to have to wait until after Euro 2024. It is understood that Gallagher is prepared to sit tight for another year and will not be pressured into a move that does not meet his requirements. He is believed to be lukewarm on the idea of being involved in a swap for Durán.

Gallagher is part of England’s squad at Euro 2024 and he is a hugely popular figure with Chelsea’s supporters. He was often captain last season and was prized by Mauricio Pochettino, who left his post as Chelsea’s head coach at the end of the campaign. Enzo Maresca has replaced Pochettino and there have been suggestions that the Italian’s focus on possession would not suit Gallagher’s style of play.

There have been claims that another consideration for Chelsea will be concerns around the Premier League’s profit and sustainability regu­lations. Any money received for Gallagher would ­register in the accounts as pure profit as he is an academy player. The club have denied they are under pressure to make sales before the 30 June accounting deadline.

Nonetheless, they will not want to be at risk of losing Gallagher on a free. Chelsea are determined to prevent that from happening.