Crystal Palace Roy Hodgson has admitted that “clubs are circling” Chelsea transfer target Michael Olise.
Reports have even suggested that the Blues are close to agreeing personal terms with the 21-year-old and, when speaking about keeping his squad together, Hodgson revealed that he fears losing the player:
“We had two outstanding wingers who were almost the best in the league. Michael Olise on the right side and Wilf on the left. We don’t have Wilf anymore. Clubs are circling around (Olise).”
Hodgson also went on to say there is a “slight doubt” over Olise’s future at Selhurst Park and Palace may “have a fight on” their hands “to make sure he stays”.
There is more than one team interested in Olise
As Hodgson mentions, there are multiple clubs looking to secure the Frenchman’s signature. In addition to Chelsea, both Manchester City and Arsenal have been credited with an interest in the winger.
It had been assumed that the scramble to sign Olise was down to a £35m release clause, but the existence of the buyout fee has since been disputed. In any case, Palace are bracing themselves for bids before the transfer window closes on September 1st.
Why are Chelsea pursuing a winger?
While the Blues currently have seven wide players on the club’s books, including Raheem Sterling, Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Angelo and Christopher Nkunku, at least three of those may depart very soon.
Hudson-Odoi could join Fulham, while Angelo is set for a loan spell at Strasbourg. Although Ziyech’s transfer to Saudi Arabia has collapsed, there is still a feeling that a move could be revived in the coming weeks.
With Nkunku expected to play in more central positions too, it could leave manager Mauricio Pochettino with just three wingers. If that happens, a bid for Olise makes a lot more sense.