Pochettino believes Chelsea are 'building something'
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly furious with Al-Ettifaq manager Steven Gerrard after he made contact with Conor Gallagher to discuss a potential January transfer. The Blues are said to be unhappy with the approach so early into the season and the prospect of the ex-Liverpool star attempting to ‘turn the heads’ of players.
The Saudi Pro League have managed to lure numerous top players to the Middle East over the past 12 months, with Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Neves among a host of clubs to ditch the Premier League in favour of heading further afield.
Al-Etiifaq were able to sign some proven talents of their own, with Gerrard playing a key role in convincing Jordan Henderson, Demarai Gray and former Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum to join him in Dammam. However, they have not completed their overhaul and are already looking at players they can prise to Saudi Arabia in January.
According to FootballTransfers, Gerrard recently contacted Chelsea midfielder Gallagher to sound out his interest in acquiring his services and discuss whether the playmaker would be willing to make the move in the winter transfer window.
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The 23-year-old is said to have ‘flatly refused’ the approach and is hoping to become a key player at his boyhood club and earn himself a new contract. However, Chelsea have reportedly not taken kindly to Gerrard’s approach given that January is still over two months away.
Pochettino ‘in particular’ is not happy with the way that the Al-Ettifaq boss has conducted himself and with how he has tried to prise his midfielder away from Stamford Bridge so early into the season. Gallagher has started in all eight of Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures so far this season, being handed the captain’s armband on occasions too.
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The 23-year-old has improved plenty over the past few weeks in the heart of Pochettino’s side, linking up with Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in midfield, and will be hoping to keep Romeo Lavia and Carney Chukwuemeka out of the starting eleven when the duo return from injury.
Gallagher was linked with a move away from Chelsea over the summer, with Tottenham and West Ham both credited with holding an interest, but the player insisted that he wanted to stay and fight for his spot at the club – with Pochettino equally open to working with the England international and make use of his versatility and experience as part of the rebuild.
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