Chelsea starlet Conor Gallagher is understood to have agreed to join Crystal Palace on loan for the upcoming season.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a solid spell away from Chelsea last term, making 30 appearances for a West Brom side who ended up getting relegated to the Championship, and everyone involved has now been focusing on keeping that momentum going.
There had been suggestions that he could remain at Chelsea, although with the competition for a place in Thomas Tuchel’s midfield so fierce, a decision was made to let the 21-year-old head out on loan for more top-flight experience.
As first revealed by The Sun’s Tom Barclay, Gallagher has ‘opted’ to take his talents to Selhurst Park for the coming year.
The young midfielder also had interest from Newcastle and Leeds United but has opted for Palace to play a key role in their youth revolution.
Gallagher is on track to become Patrick Vieira’s sixth signing of the summer and will join up with former Chelsea man Marc Guehi, who left Stamford Bridge this summer in an £18m deal. Fellow new signing Michael Olise and young winger Jesuran Rak-Sakyi also have experience in the Chelsea academy.
Palace have been tracking Gallagher for some time and came close to signing him last summer, only to take Michy Batshuayi on loan instead. Premier League rules prohibit clubs from signing more than one loan player from a club, and the Eagles chose Batshuayi over Gallagher.
The Belgian striker went on to start just seven Premier League games all season, so you can probably make an educated guess as to whether they regret their decision or not.
Chelsea will hope Gallagher’s loan does not end in similar fashion and instead follows the path set by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who earned himself a spot in England’s squad for the 2018 World Cup following his excellent 2017/18 season on loan with Palace.