Leeds United have made their first move to sign Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher this summer.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are one of the clubs monitoring the Blues ace ahead of a potential move, and that they had been tracking his progress closely during his loan spell at West Brom last season.
The Athletic have now claimed that the Whites have made an approach to sign the 21-year-old, with fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace also said to be vying for his signature.
The report adds that a new central midfielder is the club’s big priority at the moment, and that Chelsea would be willing to sanction another loan move away for Gallagher.
If Bielsa can get a loan deal over the line for Gallagher, then they would be getting someone who is still very young at 21, but already has extensive experience playing in the Championship and Premier League.
Despite not making his mark on the first team at Chelsea, Gallagher has received plenty of plaudits during his loan spells, with former Charlton boss Lee Bowyer even calling the £13.5m-rated midfielder a “jewel” who was “impossible to replace.”
During the youngster’s time at Swansea, Sky Sports pundit Keith Andrews lauded the “unbelievable” energy Gallagher possesses, even comparing him to Chelsea icon Frank Lampard.
The former Blackburn midfielder said: “The one thing he has got is a fantastic engine, much like Lee Bowyer or Frank Lampard – it’s amazing, the resemblances between those two in their younger years particularly. But for me, he’s a classic No 8; he has an unbelievable energy, he does the ugly side of the game, but you have to let him off the leash and let him get forward.”
On Twitter, The Athletic’s West Brom correspondent Steve Madeley threw his backing behind a potential move to Leeds, saying that Gallagher’s “energy and commitment are perfect for Bielsa.”
That emphasis on the 21-year-old’s dynamism and work-rate is something which will be music to the ears of Bielsa, and a season-long loan move surely has nothing to lose for Leeds next season.