Aston Villa compete for Chelsea star Conor Gallagher


Conor Gallagher of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea FC at American Express Community Stadium on May 15, 2024 in Brighton, England. 

Aston Villa’s recent qualification for the Champions League under the guidance of Unai Emery marks a significant milestone for the club. Finishing fourth in the Premier League, Villa now aims to bolster their squad to compete effectively on multiple fronts next season. One area of focus is strengthening their midfield, which has led them to target key players from rival clubs.

Pursuit of Conor Gallagher

Among the potential recruits is Conor Gallagher from Chelsea, a player who has caught the attention of several top clubs. According to a report from the Daily Telegraph, Villa is now competing with Tottenham Hotspur for Gallagher’s signature. The Chelsea midfielder is entering the final year of his contract, making his future at Stamford Bridge uncertain despite his popularity under Mauricio Pochettino.

Samuel Bannister of TeamTalk highlights, “Tottenham are long-term admirers of Gallagher and until now have seemed like the favourites to sign him. However, Villa could also make their own move for the England international.”

Gallagher’s involvement in Euro 2024 could delay any decision about his future, requiring patience from interested clubs. The midfielder’s price tag, reportedly up to £50m, could be a stumbling block for Villa’s sporting director Monchi. Nevertheless, Gallagher’s contract situation might lower the asking price, making a move more feasible for Villa.

Interest in Ross Barkley

In addition to Gallagher, Aston Villa is considering a familiar face: Ross Barkley. Currently playing for Luton Town, Barkley spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Villa Park. Football Insider reports that Villa has already opened talks about bringing Barkley back, with Emery’s approval.

Barkley has revitalised his Premier League career with Luton, despite their relegation to the Championship. His contract situation remains unclear, but Luton’s drop could make him available. “It’s claimed that Villa have already opened talks about taking Barkley back for a second spell,” writes Bannister. Barkley’s previous stint at Villa saw him score three goals in 24 appearances, showcasing his potential value to the squad.

Competition and Financial Considerations

Villa’s newfound status as a Champions League club could attract top talents like Gallagher and Barkley, but they must navigate financial constraints and competition from other clubs. Maintaining compliance with Profit and Sustainability regulations will be crucial as they aim to strengthen their squad.

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