Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Gillingham manager Steve Evans is hopeful of retaining the services of Southampton duo Tommy O’Connor and Callum Slattery beyond this season, as reported by Kent Live

The Gills might have fallen slightly short in their play-off push but, if the South East outfit are hoping to go one better next term, they could do a lot worse than to keep hold of two eye-catching loanees. 

22-year-old O’Connor has made 74 appearances during two spells on loan at Priestfield.

Slattery, meanwhile, was a big hit among the Gillingham fanbase after joining in January, even if his spell at the club was cut short by injury.

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As it stands, both O’Connor and Slattery are expected to return to Southampton but, should the opportunity present itself, Evans would jump at the chance to be reunited with two players who have risen through the ranks at one of England’s most prosperous academy systems. 

“I have spoken to the key people at Bristol City and the people at Hearts, they are making decisions on those lads (Robbie Cundy and Olly Lee) early next week, same at Southampton with Tommy,” the former Leeds United boss said.  

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“We lost the boy Slattery through injury and he did well but we need to let their parent clubs make decisions before we can in any way take a stab at bringing them back, but Cundy, Lee, O’Connor and Slattery since January they have been terrific, absolutely terrific.” 

If Evans is to be believed, Southampton will come to a decision about O’Connor’s future within the next few days. 

The Irishman is understood to be out of contract this summer and, if the Saints decide against handing him a new deal, the door will swing open for Gillingham to get the deal done.  

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