Conor Gallagher: Mauricio Pochettino hopes Chelsea star stays amid Tottenham interest

Mauricio Pochettino hopes Conor Gallagher stays at Chelsea amid ongoing interest from Tottenham on transfer deadline day.

The 23-year-old has reportedly been subject to a £40million verbal offer from fierce rivals Spurs, who are looking to sign the midfielder should Fulham target Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg leave.

Gallagher is ready to fight for his future at Stamford Bridge and has started each of Pochettino’s first four matches in charge, and this week he captained the club in the 2-1 Carabao Cup victory over AFC Wimbledon.

When asked about his midfielder, who is understood to be valued at £50m, Pochettino confirmed his desire to keep the academy graduate.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

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He said: “There will be a decision on two parts between the club and the player. Always from the outside, Conor was a reliable and consistent player who could perform in different positions.

“We are so happy with him and I think it is circumstances and different things that happened in the past. We can’t say anything [about that to reporters]. All we can do is express our feelings since we’ve been working from day one about him showing great commitment to the club.

“We are happy with him. He was captain two days ago against Wimbledon. I think he is an important player for us but what is going to happen in the future, I cannot tell you.

“We are so happy with him and we hope he stays with us.”

Pochettino ruled out any further incoming following the signing of Manchester City winger Cole Palmer, whose £45m arrival took the club’s summer spending beyond £400m.

Chelsea now, however, have 28 senior players in Pochettino’s first-team squad, far in excess of his preferred tally of 23.

Injuries have changed Pochettino’s plans, though with nine players out ahead of Nottingham Forest’s trip to Stamford Bridge. Along with Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah, Marc Cucurella and Ian Maatsen continue to face uncertain futures.

Asked about the size of his squad, Pochettino was honest about the situation, adding: “Yes, with the injuries maybe. I cannot say now that the squad is the perfect balance with the players available.

“But with the players unavailable, yes, I am so happy because we have good balance.”