Conor Gallagher may be a part of the Chelsea squad of their pre-season tour of USA, but it doesn't necessarily mean he'll still be at the club for the upcoming season. This is because there is strong interest in him from Premier League rivals West Ham United, and there has been significant developments in this potential switch in recent days.
Gallagher has had more of an impact away from Chelsea in loan moves compared to with his parent club. He particularly impressed in a temporary switch with Crystal Palace the season before last, and he finally earned more first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge last season under Graham Potter and Frank Lampard. His strong form earned him a spot in the England team, too.
Around a month ago, journalist Matt Law told the London is Blue podcast that new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is a fan of Gallagher and wants to work with him. The Argentinian was said to be ‘quite excited' over the prospect of working with the player, but could the club intervene and allow Gallagher to move on if such a good offer is received?
Well, West Ham are one club to have made their move in recent days and submitted a £40million plus add-ons offer in the direction of the Blues. According to transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, this bid has been turned down by Chelsea. This was after discussions between the club and manager, who came to the agreement that the bid was not enough to warrant a sale.
However, it is understood that Chelsea would be prepared to accept should West Ham increase their bid to £50million. This would give the club a real decision to make, even if Pochettino wants him to stay. Whilst the bid was turned down, West Ham remain keen on snapping up the player. They're looking to boost their midfield after star man Declan Rice joined Arsenal.
Gallagher still has another two-years remaining on his current contract, and Chelsea want to avoid players entering the last two-years of their respective deals, which was the case with Mason Mount, who subsequently signed for Manchester United.
Conor Gallagher Transfer: What happens now?
The ball is now ultimately back in the court of West Ham, who have seen their initial offer for the England international turned down. The big question is if they are willing to part way with extra funds to potentially make this deal happen. Chelsea, and particularly Pochettino, want the player to stay, it would seem, but Gallagher could have a decision to make.
Of course, other teams could well be monitoring this situation with some interest, and clubs all across the Premier League would surely entertain the prospect of Gallagher being a part of their squad. Gallagher may also want assurances from Pochettino of more regular football, and at a club like West Ham that would not be a question he needs to task Hammers manager David Moyes.