Michael Olise snubs Chelsea and signs new Crystal Palace contract

In-demand winger looked set for move across London but instead agrees four-year deal with Eagles

Michael Olise joined Crystal Palace from Reading in 2021 and has made 71 appearances for the Eagles scoring six goals. Getty
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Michael Olise has agreed a new four-year deal with Crystal Palace after looking set for a move to big-spending Chelsea.

It was reported on Tuesday that Chelsea had activated a release clause in his Palace contract, thought to be in the region of £35 million. But Eagles chairman Steve Parish revealed on Thursday that the 21-year-old would be staying at the club he joined from Reading in 2021.

Olise, who was in Chelsea's youth system before leaving at the age of 14, is currently out with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to be fit before September. But the news that the winger will still be a Palace player on his return is a huge boost for manager Roy Hodgson.

It also means Palace have avoided losing another key attacking talent after Wilfried Zaha left for Galatasaray on a free transfer after making 458 appearances for the Eagles.

Olise was voted Palace's Player of the Season for his performances last campaign when he registered 11 assists in the league, becoming the first Palace player to hit double figures in a single top-flight season.

Chelsea, who broke the British transfer record for the second time in eight months with the signing of Brighton's Moises Caicedo for a possible £115 million on Monday, had hoped to make Olise their latest recruit in a deal that would have pushed their net summer spend to £175 million.

“It's the best possible news we could have,” said Hodgson in a press conference ahead of Palace's Premier League match at home to Arsenal on Monday.

“We have been concerned, one is concerned if a club the size of Chelsea's stature start to take an interest in a player and suggests to them that a move to their club might be the best bet.

“I have always hoped that wouldn't be the case and that Michael would realise that at such a young age his future here is very bright and we can help him move very quickly to another level, if that is going to happen in time.

“I had a long chat with him when the subject was first broached but that was in pre-season. I suggested that being at Crystal Palace would be the best option but I also made it clear I wouldn't put him under unnecessary pressure.

“I congratulate Steve Parish and [sporting director] Dougie Freedman on a fantastic job."

Hodgson added: “As a manager, it's perfect because I really enjoyed the 10 games last year and I thought the squad was very interesting and when the chairman asked me to come back and do another year I had that in mind.

“To lose Wilfried Zaha first and then possibly Michael Olise it would have changed my perception. So, for me, it's a red letter day.”

Updated: August 17, 2023, 1:32 PM