Crystal Palace are close to completing their first signing since the appointment of Patrick Vieira as manager.
The Eagles are closing in on a move for Reading’s Michael Olise, who was named in the Championship team of the season and has been linked with a number of Palace’s Premier League rivals, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds United among the potential suitors for the teenager.
However, BerkshireLive reports that the Eagles are set to win the race, having activated an £8million release clause in the teenager’s contract.
Olise’s current Reading contract, which he signed in 2019, expires next June, but the 19-year-old has been linked with a whole host of clubs already this year, both in the January transfer window and past couple of months.
The midfielder, who previously had spells in the youth set-ups at Chelsea and Manchester City before joining Reading in 2015, impressed last season with a string of fine performances in the Championship.
Olise ended the campaign having scored seven goals and registered 12 assists in 44 league games for Veljko Paunovic’s side.
Reading, who finished last season just outside the play-offs, had feared losing him in January and at the time, the manager said he was “not aware” of a release clause in the player’s contract.
Some of the top clubs in the country, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as French champions Lille, were said to be tracking the player ahead of a switch.
But it appears Palace have now won the race for the highly-rated Olise, who won the EFL’s young player of the season award for 2020/21.
A move to south London would see the France youth international link up with French legend Vieira, who has just been appointed manager of the Eagles.
It would also represent a coup for the Eagles, given the interest from elsewhere, while it would continue a trend from recent seasons, which has seen Palace sign talented players such as Ebere Eze and Nathan Ferguson, having impressed in the Championship.
Olise has made 73 appearances overall for Reading having burst into the scene in 2018/19.