Newcastle boss Eddie Howe ‘makes Chelsea ace his prime target’ with £40m move on the cards

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Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has identified Chelsea playmaker Conor Gallagher as his main transfer target for the remaining weeks of the summer window, according to reports. Gallagher shone while on loan at Crystal Palace over the course of last season, earning himself an England call-up in the process, and has featured as a substitute in both of Chelsea’s games in the Premier League since the start of the new campaign.

The 22-year-old remains tied down at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2025 but has been linked with a number of potential suitors over the last few months, with Newcastle said to be among the interested parties. The Magpies are now gearing up to accelerate their pursuit of Gallagher as a matter of urgency after earmarking him as a priority signing, according to The Sun.

It is said that Newcastle would also like to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, but those in power at St James’ Park have decided that a deal may be too difficult to engineer before the transfer window comes to a close. They have since identified Gallagher as their chosen target as a result and are expected to step up their efforts to secure his signature over the coming weeks.

However, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea would be prepared to sell Gallagher at this time, with N’Golo Kante set to face another spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury against Tottenham over the weekend. Thomas Tuchel has already insisted that he remains a huge fan of Gallagher but also conceded that every player has a price, with the German boss seemingly yet to rule out a move elsewhere for the player with less than a month remaining until the end of the window.

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“In general, nobody is for sale, and everybody is for sale,” said Tuchel earlier this month. “It depends on what the player wants, how bad the player wants it, what we think, who is ready to pay a certain amount of money, then maybe everybody is for sale.

“Conor fights in central midfield. To be very honest, it’s a tough fight for him because at the moment, as it seems, we only have two places in central midfield, which is a bit unfair given the number of players we have for central midfield.

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“It’s not ideal, I agree. But we have to do what’s best for the squad, not what’s best for every individual player. I’m a huge fan of Conor, he is, first of all, a fantastic guy.”

Newcastle have already signed a number of exciting players on permanent deals over the course of this summer, including the likes of Sven Botman, Matt Target and Nick Pope. A successful move for Gallagher would cap off what has been a fruitful window for the Magpies, who will be aiming to challenge for a top-half finish in the Premier League with the help of their new recruits this season.

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