Crystal Palace have confirmed Michael Olise has rejected the opportunity to join Chelsea and signed a new four-year contract to stay at Selhurst Park.
Chelsea activated a £35m release clause in Olise’s contract at Palace this week and appeared close to completing a deal for the France Under-21 forward. However, the Palace chairman, Steve Parish, was determined not to lose one of his prized assets after seeing Wilfried Zaha join Galatasaray on a free transfer and made a concerted effort to persuade Olise not to leave during talks on Wednesday evening.
“I’m absolutely delighted to announce @m.olise has decided to commit his future to Crystal Palace football club and this afternoon signed a new four year deal with the club,”Parish wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
The Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, added:
“It’s the best possible news we could have. The decision has been his [Olise’s]. I must congratulate Steve Parish and [sporting director] Dougie Freedman on a fantastic job.”
Parish is understood to have been very unhappy with how Olise was approached by Chelsea and was considering making a formal complaint to the Premier League over their conduct. Chelsea have insisted their behaviour has been above board.
But the news that Olise will stay is a major boost to Hodgson’s side, even if the 21-year-old is expected to be out of action with a hamstring injury until at least the end of September. His new contract is believed to contain a minimum fee release clause.
“It puts to bed a lot of speculation and lifts everybody,”
“With Wilfried going, it would have been a blow to lose Michael. We’re now going into the season with pretty much the team we ended last season with. We’ll try to do one or two more things next week but this makes us all feel a bit better.
“Michael’s got his own mind and people have got to make decisions about their own life. We have given him the room to do that and the fans will love him all the more for making that decision. I think Michael will go right to the very top of the game but right now, for his development, this is a good decision.”Said Parish.
Palace, who have so far only signed Jefferson Lerma from Bournemouth on a free transfer, are bracing themselves for Liverpool to follow up on their interest in Cheick Doucouré.
The Mali midfielder has emerged as a primary target for Jürgen Klopp’s side after their failure to sign Moisés Caicedo and Roméo Lavia, who both opted to join Chelsea instead. Mauricio Pochettino’s side may now turn their attention towards Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson after missing out on Olise.
Palace’s hopes of signing Lewis Hall on loan from Chelsea have receded, with the 18-year-old now wanted by Newcastle on a permanent deal.
Source: The Guardian