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Chelsea want Aston Villa’s Jhon Durán in possible Conor Gallagher swap deal

<span>Jhon Durán is thought to be frustrated at having to play second fiddle to <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/388827/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Ollie Watkins;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Ollie Watkins</a> at Aston Villa.</span><span>Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters</span>

Aston Villa are expected to demand £40m for Jhon Durán if Chelsea formalise their interest in the Colombia striker.

Villa are open to selling the 20-year-old and there have been talks over him being included as part of a deal for Conor Gallagher. Chelsea are asking for at least £50m for Gallagher, whose contract expires next year, and the midfielder’s future remains up in the air.

Related: Conor Gallagher could stay at Chelsea despite Villa and Spurs interest

Unai Emery is keen on the England international, who is also a target for Tottenham, and Villa have held informal talks with Chelsea over a move for the 24-year-old. But sources close to Villa believe Gallagher is unlikely to agree to being part of a swap deal.

That would not stop Chelsea, who have a good relationship with Villa, from pursuing Durán. Chelsea want more competition for Nicolas Jackson, who was often the only fit striker this past season, and their top target was believed to be Benjamin Sesko, who is poised to snub interest from Premier League sides and commit to another year at RB Leipzig.

Sesko’s decision will not cause too much disruption at Chelsea, who have shortlisted several strikers. They are open to signing a forward already playing in the Premier League and have held informal discussions over Durán, who has been frustrated to play second fiddle to Ollie Watkins.

Durán is not in Emery’s long-term plans and has started only three league games since joining Villa in January 2023. He has eight goals in all competitions for the club and is regarded as having plenty of potential.

Chelsea are monitoring other strikers and could compete with Manchester United for the Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise.