By Jonty Banks

30th Jan, 2023 | 1:10pm

West Ham United enter three-way race to sign Conor Gallagher on loan - Alex Crook

West Ham United want to sign Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher on loan but face competition from Newcastle and Crystal Palace, according to Alex Crook.

The Chelsea player has been on the periphery of proceedings at Stamford Bridge this season after starting just nine times in the Premier League and scoring just one goal in this time.

David Moyes’ Hammers side has struggled in front of goal this term – netting just 17 goals from 20 games – and has recently been hit by injuries to attacking duo Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings.

Alongside Newcastle, talkSPORT reporter Crook (Monday 30 January) has reported that West Ham and Crystal Palace have entered the race to sign the England international in the dying moments of the January transfer window.

The report said: “Gallagher is believed to be keen on a reunion with Patrick Vieira should Chelsea allow him to leave while the third club in the transfer tussle is West Ham.

“The 22-year-old is not desperate to depart Stamford Bridge after featuring regularly in Chelsea’s first team this season.

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“But Chelsea need to trim their squad and Gallagher is likely to find himself down the pecking order if they can force through an 11th-hour deal for Benfica’s Argentine World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.”

Brilliant option

Gallagher is the type of player who could kickstart West Ham’s attack into life.

So far this term, the Hammers have looked leggy and lethargic in attack, with Jarrod Bowen the club’s leading scorer in the Premier League with just four goals. In an advanced midfield position alongside Lucas Paqueta, Gallagher could add a vibrancy that Moyes’ side is otherwise lacking.

Both Newcastle and Crystal Palace would be likely favourites in the tussle due to their situations in the league right now, and the Englishman’s prior success under Patrick Viera last season also means it’s a far-fetched pursuit.

The only concern would be that Gallagher preferably likes to play in a similar position to Paqueta, so one of them would have to move out wide or deeper in midfield to make space in the starting XI for the other.

Despite this, the 22-year-old is an England international and would definitely bring some much-needed quality in the final third.