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[Tottenham Hotspur have identified Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as their next target after a successful winter transfer window that saw the arrival of striker Timo Werner and defender Radja Nainggolan.
“Having landed Dragucin and Werner, Tottenham’s top priority is Gallagher,” the London-based Evening Standard reported on Wednesday (Aug. 12).
Tottenham have been looking to add players in the winter transfer window as they see the striker position as a vulnerable one, and the signings of Werner and Dragucin have done just that. In the attack, Son Heung-min has been out of the team for over a month with the Asian Cup, and in the defense, the departures of Davinson Sanchez and others have thinned the depth.
However, the midfield is an equally vulnerable position. Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma, who have been the mainstays of the midfield, have left the team for the Africa Cup of Nations. James Maddison is close to returning, but Enze Postecoglou needs someone who can play in central midfield.
Gallagher is an explosive, all-weather midfielder who could fit into Postecoglou’s style of play, which involves dropping high up the pitch and pressing the opposition.
Another reason Tottenham are keen to sign Gallagher is his home-grown status. Gallagher was born in England and has home-grown status, having played for Chelsea’s youth team from 2008 to 2019. With so many foreign players in the first team, Tottenham has been in need of a homegrown player to help them prepare for European competition. They brought in Joe Hart for the same reason ahead of the 2020-21 season, and last season they fulfilled their homegrown requirement by bringing in veteran goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
After spending time on loan, Gallagher returned to Chelsea last season and broke into the first team. With 45 first-team appearances, including 35 in the Premier League and eight in the UEFA Champions League, he has established himself as an integral part of the Chelsea first team.
His position hasn’t changed under new manager Mauricio Pochettino this season. He has started every game the team has played in the first half of the season, scoring four goals in 19 appearances, and has even taken the captain’s armband after captain Leo James was sidelined with injury.
However, despite his solid position, Gallagher has been labeled as a player Chelsea could consider selling in the January winter transfer window. That’s because he hasn’t signed a new contract with the Blues with 18 months left on his contract. Last month, the Daily Mail broke the news that Chelsea could let Gallagher leave, explaining that “Chelsea have not offered Gallagher a new contract and there are few signs that talks are progressing.” The Blues are reportedly unwilling to offer Gallagher a new contract of up to eight years.
The reason Chelsea is considering selling Gallagher is to comply with Premier League spending rules and use the proceeds to bolster a weak position. The Blues have spent big on the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, but unlike the midfield, which is stacked with quality players, the forward line is not. Nicholas Jackson, who has been touted as a first-choice striker and was brought in from Villarreal, has shown poor finishing on the road, which has been interpreted as a reason for Chelsea’s struggles. This has led to speculation that Chelsea will prioritize adding a striker to replace Jackson in the winter transfer window, with the likes of Victor Osimhen and Ivan Tosun being mentioned as possible targets.
According to the Daily Mail, Gallagher is a Chelsea youth product whose accounting value is inflated. The sale of Gallagher would immediately be credited to the club’s accounts as a profit, which would immediately increase Chelsea’s available cash.
For this reason, there were rumors of Gallagher’s departure in the summer transfer window. West Ham United approached Chelsea along with Tottenham, but both clubs balked at Chelsea’s £45 million asking price.
Chelsea have set a similar valuation for Gallagher in this winter’s transfer window. “Tottenham are willing to spend up to €50 million for Gallagher,” UK-based GiveMeSports reporter Dean Jones said on Wednesday.
The same day, Romano posted on his YouTube channel that Tottenham’s pursuit of Gallagher was centered on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Spurs have made Hojbjerg available in the transfer market as they look to Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma to fill the midfield roles. Fulham, Juventus, and Atletico Madrid were all reportedly in the hunt for Hojbjerg during last summer’s transfer window, but the deal fell through. With the club still looking to offload Hojbjerg in the winter transfer window, Romano believes that a sale of the midfielder would be necessary to cover the transfer fee for Gallagher.
Separately, there are concerns that selling Gallagher to Tottenham would be met with a backlash from Chelsea fans. “Given the recent exodus of several homegrown players and the fact that Gallagher joined the club at the age of eight, selling Gallagher would risk a backlash from Chelsea fans,” the Daily Mail noted.