Crystal Palace will make 19-year-old Reading winger Michael Olise their first signing of the summer for new manager Patrick Vieira, striking a deal ahead of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
90min can confirm that Palace have agreed personal terms with Olise over a long-term deal and he will soon be unveiled by the Eagles to kick-off the club’s new era.
The teenager, who was born in England but has represented France at junior international level, will cost Palace £8m after they activated a release clause in his Reading contract.
Having made his senior debut as a 17-year-old before even signing his first professional contract with the Royals, Olise became a first-team regular last season. He made 44 appearances in the Championship, scoring seven times and racking up a further 12 assists.
Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all expressed interest, while his younger brother Richard is already part of the latter’s youth setup.
Further afield, Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, all of whom have strong records of developing young talent, were also keeping a close on Olise’s development.
Bayern in particular had already completed the signing of his former Reading teammate Omar Richards to a long-term contract earlier this summer. The Bundesliga champions also previously poached Jamal Musiala, who was in Germany’s Euro 2020 squad, from Chelsea’s academy in 2019.
Olise’s arrival will form part of a crucial squad overhaul at Palace ahead of the new season. Aside from bidding farewell to Roy Hodgson and welcoming new boss Vieira, as many as 11 first-team players have left as free-agents, including Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt.
But rebuilding is something that Vieira, in his first managerial role in England, is looking forward to.
“It is a project that is really appealing to me,” he said when his appointment was confirmed. “The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.”