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Tottenham to launch Conor Gallagher move in summer if Chelsea contract unresolved

Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Crystal Palace

Tottenham Hotspur are to make a move for Conor Gallagher at the end of the season if the midfielder has still not agreed a new contract with Chelsea.

And Chelsea face a “nightmare” dilemma over a player who could have left in the last three transfer windows. According to one expert, the 24-year-old’s transfer value is falling as his contract runs towards its final 12 months, but his salary profile is increasing.

Chelsea may also find they cannot be so choosy over Gallagher’s potential destination should his contract remain unresolved, having previously encouraged deals with the likes of Everton, West Ham United, Fulham and Brighton, ahead of Spurs and Newcastle United.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino described 24-year-old Gallagher as being “priceless” following the midfielder’s two-goal performance against Crystal Palace, the club he spent a season on loan at.

Conor Gallagher scores against Crystal Palace
Gallagher scored twice against Crystal Palace - Ian Walton/Reuters

Despite talks, Telegraph Sport understands there remains no significant progress over a new contract for Gallagher, who Chelsea accepted two bids from Everton for in January 2023, included on a list of available players last summer and did not rule out selling in this year’s January transfer window.

The expectation remains that Chelsea will make Gallagher some sort of contract offer to extend his deal, but an agreement is still far from certain.

Chelsea opened the door for Gallagher to move to Everton in a deal worth £45 million just over a year ago, but the player was not interested in swapping Stamford Bridge for Goodison Park.

Newcastle United also expressed an interest in Gallagher during the same window, but, believing they could catch Eddie Howe’s team for a top-four place, Chelsea did not want to help a perceived rival at the time.

West Ham United made a similar verbal offer to Everton’s last summer, but Gallagher was reluctant to move to the London Stadium, while Tottenham’s interest was firmed up too close to the end of the summer window.

It is understood that while Gallagher was believed to have been made available to the likes of West Ham, Brighton and Fulham last summer, the club were more reluctant to sell him to the likes of Spurs and Liverpool.

When Spurs finally enquired about Gallagher a few days before last summer’s transfer window shut, they were quoted a price over £50 million which made a late deal impossible.

Postecoglou a Gallagher fan

Tottenham did not follow up that interest this January, when Pochettino revealed that Gallagher informed him that he wanted to stay at the club which he first joined as an eight-year-old.

But Spurs are ready to make a firm move for Gallagher at the end of the season if his contract has not been extended by the summer, when industry experts believe Chelsea will have little choice than to consider selling him to a rival for a relatively modest fee or hand him a new deal with wages higher than they had previously bargained for.

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou is a huge fan of Gallagher and believes he could perfectly fit into his energetic style, while the club’s technical director, Johan Lange, tried to sign the player for his former club Aston Villa some years ago.

Asked to price up Gallagher for Telegraph Sport, a top sporting director, who does not work for Chelsea or any of the clubs interested in signing the England international, said: “With a year remaining on his contract, clubs will value Gallagher at around £30 million to £35 million, which is a lot less than Chelsea will feel he is worth.”

But while his transfer value may be declining in the eyes of Chelsea’s rivals, his salary profile is going up, according to the sporting director, who added: “Given he has captained Chelsea, has been one of of their best players this season and is an England international, then he is worth around £150,000-a-week.

“That potentially puts Chelsea in a nightmare position. They might have to pay Gallagher around £150,000-a-week, which from the outside looks like more than they want to pay players, to agree a new contract with him or sell him to a club they would rather not do business for less than they had previously hoped to get for him.”

It has been interesting that while Reece James and Levi Colwill were swiftly handed new lucrative contracts, Chelsea have been much more reluctant to give Gallagher a new deal up to now.

The player did not enjoy his best season last term, when virtually all of Chelsea’s players struggled, but he has been Pochettino’s go-to man during this campaign, starting more Premier League games under the Argentine (23) than any other player at the club.

Gallagher is first for games started, joint-first for games played and third for total minutes under Pochettino. He also ranks first of Chelsea’s players for tackles, interceptions, possession won, possession won in the final third, duels won, fouls conceded and fouls won. He is second for assists, chances created and chances created from open play.

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