Aston Villa eye Chelsea midfielder, Luton star emerges as backup plan

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Aston Villa, riding high after clinching a coveted Champions League spot, have set their sights on Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as they look to strengthen their midfield ahead of the upcoming season. This has been reported by The Telegraph.

However, the Villans face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur, who have long been admirers of the talented 24-year-old England international.

Gallagher's stellar performances for Chelsea this season have not gone unnoticed, with several Premier League clubs expressing interest in the young midfielder, despite him entering the final year of his contract.

While Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino holds Gallagher in high regard, the club's board is contemplating the possibility of selling the academy product to ensure compliance with financial fair play regulations.

Villa's pursuit of Gallagher has caught many by surprise, given Tottenham's well-documented admiration for the player. Under the stewardship of Unai Emery, the Midlands club are determined to bolster their squad as they prepare for their Champions League campaign, and they view Gallagher as a crucial piece of the puzzle.

One potential stumbling block for Villa could be Chelsea's valuation of Gallagher, which was previously reported to be in the region of £50 million. However, with the midfielder now in the final year of his contract, the asking price may be revised downward, making a move more feasible for the ambitious Villans.

Gallagher, for his part, is in no hurry to make a decision about his future, particularly with the European Championship on the horizon. The midfielder is expected to be a key member of Gareth Southgate's England squad and is likely to prioritise his international commitments before resolving his club situation.

Ross Barkley
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Should Villa's pursuit of Gallagher prove unsuccessful, they have identified Luton Town's Ross Barkley as a potential alternative. Barkley, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Villa Park during the 2020-21 season, has experienced a career resurgence at Luton, contributing five goals and four assists in 32 Premier League appearances this term.

Villa manager Unai Emery has reportedly given his blessing for the club to pursue Barkley, with talks already underway. The 30-year-old midfielder, keen to remain in the Premier League following Luton's relegation, could find a return to Villa Park an appealing prospect.

Aston Villa's interest in both Conor Gallagher and Ross Barkley underscores their determination to construct a midfield capable of excelling in both domestic and European competitions. While the Villans face competition for the signatures of both players, their newly acquired Champions League status could prove to be a decisive factor in negotiations.

Fans can expect an exciting period of activity, with the club looking to make a statement signing to mark the beginning of their Champions League journey. With Gallagher and Barkley firmly on their radar, Villa are demonstrating their ambition and desire to compete at the highest level of European football.