Man Utd may have to sell before landing ‘priority target’ as Ornstein hints at possible destination

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Michael Olise
Man Utd are keeping tabs on Michael Olise

Man Utd could be forced to sell before they can buy Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise in the summer, according to reports.

The Red Devils are set for major changes over the summer after Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club earlier this year.

INEOS are now in charge of the football operation and Ratcliffe wants to see an end to poor recruitment which has seen Man Utd overpay for big names, rather than recruiting players with potential.

There was a report last week which claimed Ratcliffe had made a new rule for the recruitment team which specified that Man Utd should not be signing players over the age of 25.

A player who fits perfectly into the new recruitment rule is 22-year-old Olise, who has been in sensational form for Crystal Palace when fit this season, contributing 10 goals and six assists in 19 Premier League appearances.

There are rumours that Man Utd could have as little as £35m to spend in the summer and former CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs claims the Red Devils may have to sell before they can buy Olise.

Jacobs told GiveMeSport: “To do all that business when they’re not starting with a big budget this window due to PSR concerns is tricky.

“So Michael Olise is a priority target. But he’s not necessarily in the number one priority position as of right now, where Manchester United may need to strengthen.

“This is why outgoings are going to be important first, because whatever outgoing departs will not only free up space but will make that position more urgent.”

Man City and Liverpool could also enter the fray for Olise over the summer transfer window with The Athletic journalist David Ornstein insisting that ideally the Crystal Palace winger is looking for Champions League football.

Ornstein said on The Athletic FC Podcast: “I think this is going to be one of the fascinating narratives as the market unfolds because there are of course lots of top players and he’s one of them. Not many of them have release clauses but he does. By all accounts, it’s not extortionate – relatively speaking – for the quality of player that he is.”

The journalist added: “The key thing here is that in a market of such uncertainty about valuations and especially leading players, to have a player who has a clause and it’s not ludicrous, brings a little bit of clarity to clubs when they’re looking at their budgets and who they might want to target or not.

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“Olise has admirers across the game and at the very top level. We’ve seen the links to Manchester United, Manchester City maybe, Chelsea went for him last summer and could very well try again. It wouldn’t surprise you if other top clubs like Liverpool – there have been some online rumours about them – and even Arsenal’s name gets thrown into the hat, the likes of Paris Saint-Germain…the biggest clubs in world football.

“That puts Olise in a very strong position because ultimately if and when these offers arrive and if Crystal Palace are compelled to accept by virtue of there being a clause, he’ll have his pick of many of the leading lights in world football. Everything I hear about Olise is that he’s a considerate guy, very intelligent and calm. He really works through these things in his head and he’s not going to jump into rash decisions.

“Maybe he ultimately decides that he wants to stay at Palace…I don’t think there’s a guarantee that he moves, but it’s one that’s being talked about as someone that he could move.”

Ornstein continued: “This is somebody that there’s a feeling around that he should be aiming as high as possible. I’ve always been led to believe that Champions League is the step that he would take after leaving Palace. That’s not ruling out a really exciting project and if he holds talks with say United and he really likes what he hears and the numbers are right and it all adds up, then something happens there.”

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