ENGLISH Premier League side Crystal Palace have joined the fray to sign Nigerian-born midfielder Michael Olise by triggering his £8m release clause with Championship team Reading in the hope of signing him before the start of the new season.
Olise, 19, a mercurial playmaker seen to have a bright future ahead of him, is eligible to play for England, France and Nigeria but he has opted for the Super Eagles. This led to Nigeria’s head coach Gernot Rohr naming him on the standby list for the two African Nations qualifiers that took place in March against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
His soared by €4m overnight to €12m after he was named in the standby list for Nigeria’s upcoming 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Republic of Benin and Lesotho. Among the clubs looking to sign Olise include Leeds United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern Munich and French Ligue One champions Lille.
Crystal Palace, who already have another Nigerian playmaker Ebere Eze on their books, however, are hoping to beat everyone to Olise. New Palace manager Patrick Viera, aims to make Olise his first signing as according to Football Insider , he has triggered the midfielders’ release clause.
Up until now, Leeds United, managed by Marcelo Bielsa, regarded as the best manager in England, have been favourites to sign Olise up until this week. Olise’s future at Reading has been in doubt for some time, with his contract expiring in the summer of 2022 and his scintillating form last season has made him a subjected of repeated transfer speculation.
He is regarded as one of the best talents in the Championship and was nominated for the English Football League Young Player of the Season award. Left footed and able to carry the ball long distances as well as beat opponents in one-on-one duels, Olise had an impressive 2020/21 campaign after breaking into the Reading side the previous season.
Last season, he scored seven goals and supplied 12 assists from 44 Championship appearances operating in various attacking roles. Despite representing France at youth level Olise also qualifies for England, Algeria and Nigeria, with all of the nations interested in his services.