New contract for Chelsea key player more likely after exit ruled “unlikely” by top source

Not long ago it seemed certain that Conor Gallagher was going to leave Chelsea.

His contract was into its final year and there was no real talk of him signing a new one.

But as the weeks have passed, it feels like his chances of staying are growing. More than anything, this is just down to the fact that teams aren’t appearing too interested in paying the £50m or so that Chelsea want.

Yesterday we heard that Atletico Madrid have made enquiries, but as we reported then, that feels like a non-starter. They’re just not in a position to be spending that sort of money on players at the moment, especially not if they’re going to demand Premier League wages.

Today another major option has been all but crossed off the list. Aston Villa have financial issues of their own, and are going to have to sell players before buying. There’s no way they can afford a straight up £50m, which is why various swap deals have been suggested.

But today Simon Johnson of the Athletic shut down that idea:

“Aston Villa are one of the clubs interested in Gallagher, although they will struggle to meet the asking price without selling players first themselves. A swap involving Duran is unlikely.”

Swaps are always tricky in top tier football, and this looks to be no exception.

Conor Gallagher celebrates with Enzo Fernandez.

Back to the drawing board for a potential sale

A sale is never going to be off the cards – Chelsea just have to lower their asking price. But for now, the main options and avenues for Gallagher seem pretty closed, and the chances of us getting the money we want is slim.

It will be very interesting to see how this develops – will Chelsea finally concede that agreeing a new contract with the midfielder is the way to go? Or will they start to consider lower offers from teams wanting to buy him?

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