Speaking in a Q & A for Birmingham Mail, the Villa correspondent revealed that the Midlands outfit could be in line to make a move for the 22-year-old, albeit with no contact having been made with the Blues as yet.
Asked for any news regarding the England international’s potential move to Villa Park, Preece stated: “As for Gallagher, I have a feeling Villa will test the water with that one but that’s just the vibe I’ve been getting. Gerrard, I’m told, really rates him. Villa yet to make an approach to Chelsea so nothing has happened.”
The four-cap England international – who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace – is set to return to his parent club for pre-season with Thomas Tuchel keen to take a closer look at the player, although a £30m fee has been mooted if Chelsea were inclined to sell.
There would no doubt be a long list of suitors were the Stamford Bridge outfit to put the £17k-per-week gem on the market this summer, with it set to be a major coup if Villa are able to fend off rival interest to land such a promising talent.
While the £22.5m-rated midfielder is yet to make a senior competitive appearance for the west Londoners, he has showcased his talent with a string of fine loan spells. He has caught the eye in the Championship with Charlton Athletic and Swansea City, before more recent temporary moves to West Bromwich Albion and Palace in the top flight.
That latter stint proved particularly profitable for the Epsom-born starlet as he enjoyed something of a breakthrough campaign at Selhurst Park during the 2021/22 season, netting eight goals and providing three assists in 34 Premier League games for Patrick Vieira’s side.
Not just an attacking force, the box-to-box workhorse also averaged an impressive two tackles and registered 0.9 interceptions per game in the top flight, while he also ranks in the top 7% for pressures made among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.
That relentless work ethic, combined with an impressive end product, has seen the 6-foot menace, who was dubbed by talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino as “like N’Golo Kante with goals”, with that glowing praise a marker of the English youngster’s undoubted quality.
Now pushing for a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in Qatar this winter, there may be no better place for Gallagher to catch the 51-year-old’s eye than at his former club Villa, with the Midlanders seemingly on the hunt for a new central midfield addition.
Having already completed four major summer deals, Steven Gerrard can rubberstamp his strong pulling power by adding the 22-year-old to that list of arrivals, with the dynamic machine having the potential to be a real marquee acquisition for Villa.