Premier League • England

Chelsea chase back on as Pochettino given boost in ongoing Man City battle for £50m attacker

Craven Cottage, Fulham, London, UK. 20th May, 2023. Premier League Football, Fulham versus Crystal Palace; Michael Olise of Crystal Palace and Joao Palhinha of Fulham compete for the ball

Chelsea look set to continue their pursuit of Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise after receiving positive news about his ongoing fitness concerns.

The Blues began the summer window by offloading several high-profile players to help balance the books. The likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly and Christian Pulisic were all sold. But now manager Mauricio Pochettino’s focus has turned to players that might improve his squad.

Chelsea were woeful last term, finishing down in 12th spot. The Argentinian tactician has been tipped to transform the west Londoners back into top-four contenders.

And he has already added the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi, Nicolas Jackson and Lesley Ugochukwu.

However, it seems as though the South American has eyes on another capture. The Stamford Bridge outfit have been linked with Olise all summer.

But they are not the only club with an interest in the Eagles wide man. Manchester City are also known to be keen on the 21-year-old.

However, it was reported back in late July that Chelsea had reached an agreement over a £39m move for the London-born ace.

That news did not seem to bother City, as the champions locked set to trump that offer with one of their own.

READ MORE: Chelsea strike ‘verbal agreement’ for €20m star as Pochettino ponders loan agreement

But both clubs seemed reluctant to commit after the youngster suffered a hamstring injury at the Under-21 European Championships.

Therefore news via that Olise has been seen in the Palace gym may well prompt one or both clubs to pounce.

Olise to fill Nkunku void

Pochettino has already had to deal with one setback before a ball has been kicked in the 2023-2024 Premier League season.

France international Nkunku has been ruled out for up to four months after undergoing knee surgery.

The capital outfit will therefore need to alter their plans and Olise may well be among them.

He has missed all of Palace’s pre-season programme and still has work to do to regain full fitness.

But at least suitors have been handed a bonus that his injury problems are on the mend.

Olise, who has thrown his lot in with France internationally, is not a prolific goalscorer.

He has managed just four across two Premier League seasons with the Selhurst Park outfit.

However, the former Reading ace is a player who provides plenty of ammunition for strikers.

He has registered 16 assists from 63 top-flight appearances and was credited with 13 while playing in the Championship.

It is obvious why the two top-flight giants are interested. And Eagles chief Roy Hodgson recently confessed Olise’s future in South London is very much up in the air.

“No one knows at this moment,” he told Sky Sports. “If there are clubs desperately or seriously preparing a bid and tempting him then he’ll have a decision.

“I can only wait and see what decision he is going to make. He knows we are very keen to keep him.”

There are still a few weeks of the transfer window remaining.

And it will be interesting to see which of the duo can manage to pull off a deal if Olise does opt to leave Palace.

READ MORE: Game over for big-name Chelsea trio, as brutal Pochettino snubs spark triple exit