NIGERIAN-born playmaker Michael Olise is poised to join English Premier League giants Leeds United from Championship side Reading during the current January transfer window in a £8m move.
Olise, 19, is a left-footed mercurial playmaker, who started his career at the Chelsea academy before proceeding to Manchester City from where he joined Reading in 2016. Eligible to play for France, England and Nigeria, Olise has already featured for the French U18 team but Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has him on his radar.
Leeds United fans have taken to social media to welcome the move but the deal is not yet done and Crystal Palace are said to be eyeing the midfielder too. Olise has been in red-hot form this season, having scored four goals and provided six assists for Reading and many Leeds fans feel that the player would be a smart signing for the club.
Nearly two years ago, Olise made his Reading first-team debut in Leeds’ 3-0 win at the Madejski stadium in March 2019 and has gone on to make 47 first team appearances for the Royals, scoring four goals. Olise can play in the middle of midfield or on the wing but is more comfortable with an attacking role, which in theory should make him suit Leeds United’s aggressive attacking style that coach Marcelo Bielsa has introduced into English football.
Olise’s current deal at Reading runs until the summer of 2022 which may seem a long way away but the hesitancy to sign an extension suggests he could be holding out for offers from elsewhere. His contract contains an £8m release clause which is small change for a Premier League club.
In May 2019, Olise was called up to the France U18 for the 2019 Toulon Tournament. However, during last year’s October Fifa match window, Mr Rohr had him pencilled down as a potential invitee for the two friendlies against Tunisia and Algeria.