Thomas Tuchel says he is planning to hold talks with Crystal Palace loanee Conor Gallagher about his future at Chelsea FC next summer.
The Blues midfielder has impressed during his loan spell at the Eagles so far after Tuchel allowed the 21-year-old to move across the capital to the south east London side.
Gallagher created a goal in Crystal Palace’s 3-3 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday to help Patrick Vieira’s side continue their impressive unbeaten run.
The England international has scored four times and has made three assists in 11 games in the Premier League this season since his move to Crystal Palace.
Gallagher, who hasn’t yet made an appearance for the Chelsea FC senior team, has been linked with a potential return to Stamford Bridge before the end of the 2021-22 season.
While Tuchel appeared to play down the possibility of Gallagher returning to the Champions League holders in the current campaign, the Chelsea FC manager revealed that he does plan to hold talks with the Palace midfielder in the summer.
When asked about the possibility of Chelsea FC terminating Gallagher’s loan spell at Palace, Tuchel said: “Actually, I haven’t thought about it.
“I think it is important for him to be happy where he is and not change things. It is important to be calm, I feel him happy there and that he is having this impact at Crystal Palace.
“It is too early to talk about that in public before we talk with Conor himself and what his goals are.
“This will happen in the summer as we all agreed to the decision that we wanted to send him to Palace. He saw a possibility for him.
“I am not surprised the national coach loves him because I loved him from day one. Humble, nice, smile on his face and all the time ready to give everything, want to learn and improve.
“As a team-mate I would have loved to play with him. It is a pleasure to know him; I am super happy that it has worked out so well. He needs to keep his feet on the ground.”
Gallagher has previously enjoyed loan stints at Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and West Brom over the past three seasons before his switch to Crystal Palace in the summer.
The Palace star was a second-half substitute in England’s 10-0 win over San Marino in their 2022 World Cup qualifier last week as he made his first appearance for the Three Lions.
Former Blues midfielder Joe Cole believes that Gallagher – who has been at Chelsea FC since the age of eight – has overtaken Billy Gilmour at Stamford Bridge as the two midfielders look to prove their talent on loan at Palace and Norwich respectively this season.
“He can play box-to-box, No.8, he can play with his back to goal, he could play as a No.10,” Cole told JOE, as quoted by Metro.
“He’s better as a No.8/box-to-box and he could even play at Chelsea where Kovacic plays, but he would score more goals than [Mateo] Kovacic.
“Chelsea won’t sell him, Chelsea ain’t silly. Him and [Billy] Gilmour who is out on loan at Norwich. He’s probably gone above Billy because of what he’s done. He’s gone on loan and done it, he’s such a talent.
“He was at West Brom last year and he’s gone through the process. Chelsea have a process where they send the boys out on loan. Mason [Mount] went six months in Holland, a year at Derby and into the first-team.
“They can’t get Gallagher back until the end of the season, but he’ll be one for next season.
“Nice kid, great attitude, great player. He’s going to be a special player.”
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