West Ham remains favourites in the race to sign the sought after Chelsea and England midfielder Conor Gallagher, though their odds drifted slightly in recent weeks.
The Hammers were as low as 1/5 with talkSPORT BET’s transfer odds to sign the England international, though now stand at 2/1 with Chelsea needing to trim down their squad and the midfielder uncertain of a starting berth in this season.
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Gallagher was scouted by the Chelsea academy at the age of eight and has been with the club ever since, being sent on loan a number of times before finally breaking into the senior team last season.
The 23-year-old made 45 appearances for the Blues in what was a disappointing campaign for the club as they fell to a far below par 12th place finish in the league, despite having spent upwards of half a billion pounds in the transfer market.
All the new signings into the Chelsea squad means the club have to balance out the numbers this summer, with new manager Mauricio Pochettino being forced to sell a number of his quality players in order to trim the squad down.
Gallagher did start in Chelsea’s season opner on Sunday but following the most recent signings of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, Gallagher is thought to be one of the many players to leave the west London club, with the central midfielder in high demand.
West Ham are the strong favourites to make a move for the Chelsea midfielder, likely as a potential replacement for their former captain Declan Rice, who has been signed by Arsenal this summer, and Brazilian playmaker Lucas Paqueta who is also rumoured to be departing.
The Hammers won their first trophy in 43 years last season as they lifted the Europa Conference League in June last season, but only managed to stutter to a 14th place finish in the Premier League, having finished in the top seven in the previous two seasons.
David Moyes will be eager to improve his squad’s strength and depth too as they aim to break back into the Premier League’s top half as well as compete in next season’s Europa League.
The Irons are slightly short in numbers and experience in the midfield department with Tomas Soucek and youngster Conor Coventry, the club’s only remaining defensive midfielders, both with contracts expiring next summer.
Flynn Downes is the only remaining specialist central midfielder in the squad, though he only made seven league starts last season – though the club have recently announced the signing of James Ward-Prowse from Southampton.
Conor Gallagher Next Club Odds (talkSPORT BET)
West Ham – 2/1Brighton – 8/1Newcastle – 12/1Everton – 16/1Liverpool – 16/1Any German club – 16/1Any MLS club – 16/1Crystal Palace – 20/1Any French club – 20/1Any Italian club – 20/1Any Spanish club – 20/1Fulham – 25/1Manchester United – 25/1
Brighton were, at one point, favourites to sign the young midfielder, but their odds of signing the Chelsea star have drifted from 3/1 to 10/1 in recent weeks.
The Seagulls may still be in the market for an Alexis Mac Allister replacement, the talented World Cup winner departed the Amex Stadium for Anfield this summer.
Another Brighton midfielder whose exit has been confirmed is Moises Caicedo, the highly talented 21-year-old joined Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this week for a British record transfer fee, leaving Gallagher as a potential like for like replacement.
The Sussex side have made two midfield acquisitions already this summer, signing James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud, both on free transfers, so boss Robeto de Zerbi may yet be content with his current batch of midfielders.
The Seagulls would also be able to offer Gallagher European football this coming season, should he make the move, with their sixth place finish meaning they will be competing in the Europa League group stage come September.
Newcastle, another side who were previously favourites to sign the midfielder, are also still linked with the 23-year-old, thought their odds are now 12/1.
The Magpies defied many people’s expectations by securing themselves a fourth place finish in the Premier League last season, securing Champions League football for the first time since 2003.
Eddie Howe will need to have a busy transfer window in preparation for the increased workload and busier calendar this season, and will need to improve on the strength and depth of his current squad.
Gallagher could well tick both boxes for Howe, as someone who is both young and experienced, having amassed just shy of 100 appearances already and appeared in the Champions League.
German giants Borussia Dortmund are reported have had had their ears pricked up by the news Gallagher could be on the move this summer, and Gallagher has been given odds of 16/1 to make the move to Germany.
The Bundesliga runners up have had to deal with departure of star player Jude Bellingham this summer to Real Madrid, and a like for like English replacement could be perfect for the club.
Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the Englishman, also at 16/1, with the Reds short on the midfield department this summer following the departures of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner, Arthur Melo and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Reds have already signed Alexis Mac Allister as a replacement for one of them, but are likely to be in the market for at least one other, and could try and get Gallagher to make the switch from blue to red.
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