Tuchel on Lukaku
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Chelsea’s transfer plans look set to be impacted by the future of Conor Gallagher, with the young midfielder starring on loan at Crystal Palace. Gallagher has impressed under Patrick Vieira, catching the eye of Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.
The current midfield options at Stamford Bridge have failed to convince as the Blues’ title challenge has become derailed in recent weeks.
Draws with Burnley, Manchester United, Wolves, Brighton and Liverpool have seen the Red Devils slip 10 points behind leaders Manchester City.
Jorginho, Saul Niguez and Mateo Kovacic have come under fire for their performances in those games.
That is set to see Tuchel make central midfield a top priority in the long-term as he looks to recover from the recent downturn in results
At the top of his list for this month though is likely to be at least one wing-back following injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James.
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But once that problem has been solved, the Blues boss is expected to turn his eye back towards midfield.
According to Goal, Chelsea have identified three key areas of their squad to improve within the next year.
Midfield is one of those areas and to boost his options, Tuchel is said to be ‘increasingly interested’ in Monaco star Aurelien Tchouameni.
The Blues are thought to be running in-depth scouting on Tchouameni ahead of a potential move in the summer window.
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Also drawing Chelsea’s eye is West Ham’s Declan Rice, who has impressed in the Hammers’ battle to finish in the top four.
But Goal report that this is where Gallagher’s future will have an impact on plans, with Chelsea only likely to make a move for one of Tchouameni or Rice.
Instead of bringing in two new additions to his squad, Tuchel is said to ‘support’ the idea of integrating Gallagher when he returns from Selhurst Park.
Gallagher is with Palace until the end of the season, in what is his fourth spell away from Chelsea following loan moves to Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and West Brom.
The 21-year-old has been one of the signings of the season, scoring six goals and notching three assists in 17 Premier League games.
That return in front of goal has helped Palace to be somewhat of a surprise package this season in Vieira’s first campaign in charge.
It has also helped Gallagher to catch the eye of Tuchel, with the German now keen to see what he can offer to Chelsea.
The chance to do that will come at the end of the season, with the final six months of his loan being an opportunity to prove to Tuchel that he only needs to sign one of Tchouameni or Rice.
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