West Brom deal for Conor Gallagher is ‘basically done’ – Slaven Bilic
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic insists a deal to sign Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher is “basically done”.
The 20-year-old, who reports suggest is set to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge, will join the Baggies on loan.
Bilic revealed it is just the formalities of the paperwork to go through until a deal is confirmed for a player who caught his eye in the Championship last season.
“I think Conor is a paperwork thing. It is basically done but it is the paperwork,” said Bilic. “He will give us something that we don’t have, that dynamic in the midfield, and I am expecting a lot from him.
“I am delighted and I know the player well from the Championship where he made an impact first at Charlton and then at Swansea.”
Gallagher impressed during his loan spells last season – his first taste of senior football.
He scored six goals and registered four assists for Charlton before leaving Lee Bowyer’s side in January for Swansea, where the youngster added another seven assists to his tally as he helped the Welsh club reach the Championship play-offs.
“There was a chance in January that we may take him before he went to Swansea, but it was very difficult so we couldn’t do it,” said Bilic.
“Now again when we saw the opportunity, we acted straight away. I have to thank (Chelsea manager) Frank Lampard, he’s a top man. We have known each other since West Ham and he has helped with it, but the boy wanted to come and he is ready to take that next step in his career.
“It is a new level for him and we are going to have him and he is going to have us and hopefully it will be an exciting and pleasant journey.”
Gallagher will become the seventh new signing made by West Brom this summer since their promotion back to the Premier League and he is likely to go straight into the squad for the game against Everton on Saturday.
Bilic said that Branislav Ivanovic, who completed his move to The Hawthorns this week, will not be ready for the trip to Goodison Park as he builds up his fitness. However, the Baggies boss added that the experienced defender will be available “very soon”.