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Chelsea's Enzo Maresca 'identifies £40m replacement' for Conor Gallagher

Chelsea's Maresca 'identifies £40m replacement' for Gallagher
© Reuters
Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca reportedly identifies a possible £40m replacement for in-demand midfielder Conor Gallagher.

Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca has reportedly identified a possible replacement for in-demand midfielder Conor Gallagher.

Speculation continues to swirl regarding the future of Gallagher, who will soon be entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

The England international started all but one of Chelsea's Premier League fixtures in 2023-24, recording five goals and seven assists, and he played more minutes (4,036) than any of his teammates in all competitions under former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

However, Gallagher's future at Chelsea remains uncertain amid suggestions that the club may be forced to cash in on the academy graduate to generate 'pure profit' and avoid the risk of breaching the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules.

Both Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old, with the latter allegedly in talks with Chelsea over a permanent transfer.

Leicester City's Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in action with Chelsea's Moises Caicedo on March 17, 2024© Reuters

Dewsbury-Hall to replace Gallagher at Chelsea?

Gallagher is believed to be keen to remain at Chelsea, but should he depart in the summer, new boss Maresca could raid his former club Leicester City for their star midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

According to The Sun, Maresca is interested in signing the 25-year-old and is 'convinced' that he can make the step up at Stamford Bridge.

The report adds that Leicester are unlikely to let Dewsbury-Hall leave on the cheap and will only entertain offers of at least £40m for the midfielder.

However, Leicester's financial situation could force the club to cash in for a lower price, seemingly handing a boost to Chelsea as well as Brighton & Hove Albion who have previously held an interest.

Leicester City's Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall on January 30, 2024© Reuters

Dewsbury-Hall the "most-improved" player under Maresca

During his one season in charge of Leicester, a Championship title-winning one in 2023-24, Maresca admitted that Dewsbury-Hall initially struggled in the early stages of the campaign, but later improved under his tutelage.

"He was full of responsibility at first," Maresca told reporters at the end of last year, "But since the first international break he has improved a lot. He's calm, fantastic with the ball, he knows when to attack and what to give the team.

"He is so dangerous near the box, and has the quality to score or assist from anywhere. He is probably the most-improved for us and he's in the perfect position."

Dewsbury-Hall was named the Player's and Supporters' Player of the Season at Leicester after scoring 12 goals and providing 14 assists in 44 Championship matches to help the Foxes return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The midfielder, who joined Leicester at the age of eight and worked his way through the club's youth ranks before making his senior debut in 2020, has made a total of 129 first-team appearances and has three years remaining on his contract at the King Power Stadium.

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Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly in February 2024.
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