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Joe Cole outlines his Chelsea transfer strategy and includes Conor Gallagher ultimatum

Chelsea legend Joe Cole has insisted Conor Gallagher cannot leave this summer after telling the club which players to sign.

Gallagher has been heavily linked with a move away from Chelsea this summer as he enters the final year of his contract despite being a popular player with fans.

Gallagher has played a central role at Chelsea this season but could be sold this summer

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Gallagher has played a central role at Chelsea this season but could be sold this summerCredit: AFP

Tottenham are one of the favorites for his signature while talkSPORT understands Aston Villa have also entered the race for the 24-year-old.

But Blues legend Cole said selling Gallagher would be a huge misstep by his former club, who he believes should recruit players who lead by example in the dressing room.

Speaking to talkSPORT at Ballerz, a new state-of-the-art football center in Bluewater, Cole said: “Conor Gallagher can’t leave. I know there are financial problems, but Conor Gallagher has been brilliant, from the start at the end.

“Everyone has come in the last few weeks but Conor, you see a great player when he plays in a team in difficulty. Conor was always there, captain too.

“I think it’s imperative that the club keep him.”

Gallagher has been a key player for Mauricio Pochettino this season and has been Chelsea’s de facto captain in the absence of Reece James and Ben Chilwell, but he could play his final game for his boyhood club on Sunday.

The midfielder has missed just one Premier League game this campaign due to suspension and has scored seven and assisted nine in all competitions.

But as well as being the heart of Chelsea, he has also helped out in the dressing room – despite only being in his second season as a first-team player at Stamford Bridge.

Cole, who spent seven years at Chelsea and won everything except the Champions League, doesn't see why Chelsea would sell Gallagher

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Cole, who spent seven years at Chelsea and won everything except the Champions League, doesn’t see why Chelsea would sell GallagherCredit: talkSPORT
Gallagher has been linked with moves to Villa and Spurs

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Gallagher has been linked with moves to Villa and SpursCredit: Getty

With Thiago Silva also leaving, there are concerns that there may not be enough experience within the club to help guide what is one of the youngest teams in the Premier League, a problem which, according to Cole, should be resolved this summer.

The 42-year-old, who has made 282 appearances for the Blues in seven years, added: “What is very important is recruitment this summer. You need experience, I wouldn’t say anywhere in particular.

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“I don’t think the club needs to add more young players, they need experience.

“It’s very similar to what Bayer Leverkusen did. They brought in Jonas Hofmann and another senior player (Granit Xhaka), you can’t put a value on it.

“I think if I were advising the club it would be two or three players. Experienced players who know how to win matches, good character, set the tone in the dressing room.”

Chelsea are already set to sign Brazilian prodigy Willian Estevao, continuing their policy of signing the world’s best talent, although the 17-year-old will not join until 2025.

Other players linked include RB Leipzig star Benjamin Sesko, Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran and Benfica ace Joao Neves, all aged 20 or under.

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