West Brom closing in on Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher will join Albion on loan once he has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Chelsea, the Express & Star understands.
The 20-year-old is a player who has been on the Baggies radar for a number of years following his impressive performances for Chelsea’s youth sides.
But last season saw him take that form into senior football after successful loan stints at both Charlton and Swansea.
Gallagher had been expected to join Crystal Palace on a temporary basis but that move fell through last week when Roy Hodgson instead opted to sign Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.
Premier League rules state you can only sign one player on loan from another top-flight side.
And that put Gallagher back on the market with Leeds and Villa amongst a dozen clubs who reportedly joined Albion in the race to land the England under-21 international.
The Express & Star revealed last week that the Baggies held positive talks with the player’s representatives over a move to The Hawthorns.
And now it is understood Slaven Bilic's side have won the race – with the Croatian and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knowing each other well having been former team mates at West Ham.
Gallagher joined Chelsea aged eight and was crowned the club's Academy Player of the Year at the end of the 2018/19 season.
He was also an unused substitute in the 2019 UEFA Europa League Final, where he collected a winner's medal.
Chelsea see his long-term future at Stamford Bridge, with the midfielder now set to sign a new contract with the club before gaining top flight experience on loan.
As well as Gallagher, Albion also want to re-sign central midfielder Filip Krovinovic this window.
The Croatian impressed for the Baggies last season while on loan from Benfica.
Talks over a second loan with a view to a permanent deal are ongoing with the Portuguese side – with Krovinovic not believed to be part of the club's long-term plans.
And on Friday, Bilic confirmed he is hopeful the 25-year-old will return to the club before the transfer window closes.
Meanwhile, the Express & Star understands Branislav Ivanovic trained with Albion today ahead of joining the club on a free transfer.
Speaking at a press conference last Friday, Bilic said he expected the Serbian to be confirmed as a Baggies player that day.
But there has since been hold-up with the 36-year-old’s paperwork.
As a free agent, Ivanovic is able to join up with the squad and take part in training.
It is expected his arrival on a short-term deal will be formally announced tomorrow.
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