Mauricio Pochettino faces awkward talks with five Chelsea figures as saga takes its toll | Football | Sport

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Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is on a collision course with club chiefs as he fights to keep one of his key players at Stamford Bridge. The future of Conor Gallagher has been the subject of much speculation, but the midfielder stayed at the club during the January transfer window despite being linked with a move to Tottenham.

And the 24-year-old has since proved his worth to Pochettino, scoring his first goal of the season in a 3–1 win over Aston Villa in an FA Cup fourth round replay. He followed up with a brace on Monday as Chelsea prevailed 3-1 at Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Despite his form however, Gallagher could yet be sold this summer given he has less than 18 months left on his contract, meaning he’d be eligible to leave for free in 2025. That’s despite his manager’s evident desire to keep him in the fold.

But according to football journalist Ben Jacobs, the Argentine boss may be overruled on the matter. Owner Todd Boehly plays an active role in the club’s transfer business, along with Behdad Eghbali, Paul Winstanley, Laurence Stewart and Joe Shields, with the quintet reportedly having a key say in possibly sanctioning a sale.

The club’s precarious situation with Financial Fair Play regulations means that summer sales will be necessary if Boehly is to add to the £1billion he’s already splashed out since arriving at the club ahead of the 2022/23 season. And given he’s an academy product, the ‘pure profit’ ruling means that selling Gallagher would benefit Chelsea’s financial standing.

Boehly has come under severe criticism for his spending spree since arriving in London, having spent vast amounts on players perceived to be under-performing. Pochettino also represents the fourth manager at the club in the American’s tenure, after Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter were dismissed last year before Frank Lampard took over for an interim period.

But he now risks irking the 51-year-old, who himself has found himself under pressure for his side’s erratic form. And the two recent wins have been timely given he takes his side to Manchester City on Saturday, before facing Liverpool in the League Cup final on February 25.

Gallagher himself as remained tight-lipped on his future, but has cemented himself in the first team these past two seasons following a string of loan moves. Since signing his first professional contract in 2019, the England player has had temporary stints with Charlton, Swansea, West Brom, and Crystal Palace.

He was also handed the club captaincy by Pochettino while Reece James and Thiago Silva were sidelined with injury. As well as Tottenham, the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle have been linked with the player.



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