Newcastle United transfer news: Magpies identify £40m James Maddison alternative with ex-Crystal Palace man linked

Newcastle United have reportedly made Chelsea and England midfielder Conor Gallagher their number one target in the final weeks of the transfer window, according to The Sun.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and is seen as an alternative to Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison after the Tynesiders had bids rejected.

Gallagher is rated at around the £40million mark but Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has stated that he remains a “huge fan” of the young England star.

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He said: “In general, nobody is for sale, and everybody is for sale.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JULY 23: Connor Gallagher of Chelsea on the ball whilst under pressure from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal during the Florida Cup match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Camping World Stadium on July 23, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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.

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“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.

“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.

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“I’m a huge fan of Conor. He is first of all a fantastic guy. In the first weeks of training, he showed how much of a step he made by having so much playing time and how much of a personality on the pitch he became.

“It’s a very very normal situation in development that, after some really fantastic training sessions in the beginning, there’s a little dip in form, a dip in freshness at the moment, from which he suffers.

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“On top he has huge competition with N’Golo [Kante], Jorgi [Jorginho] and Kova [Mateo Kovacic], who are used to playing with each other. But this is life in a big club and a competitive club like Chelsea.

“Everything is in its right place. We are happy with him and he keeps on fighting, because this is what he does. I think he has everything to become a very important player over the next years at Chelsea.”