As their form improves in the Premier League, Manchester United are already hard at work on their desired deals for the summer transfer window as they look to raise their ceiling for the 2024/25 campaign.
Erik ten Hag’s side have already been in contact with the entourage of long-term target Frenkie de Jong to make it clear that they’re ready to sign him if he becomes available, with Barcelona considering a sale and the player now open to assessing the offers on the table.
Elsewhere, the Red Devils are leading the race to sign Teun Koopmeiners from Atalanta, who’s been valued at around £51m and may prove to be too expensive for rival suitor Juventus.
Another reported target for United is Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, with Fabrizio Romano saying last month that they will consider activating the Frenchman’s release clause, but stressing that “many clubs” are interested.
Chelsea activated a £35m provision in Olise’s deal during last summer’s transfer window, but the wide player elected not to make the move to Stamford Bridge and instead penned an extension at Palace that significantly increased the exit clause.
Olise drawn to Man Utd as Ratcliffe gives green light
Speaking to GiveMeSport, journalist Ben Jacobs said that new United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe will “endorse” the interest in Olise, and says the Frenchman is “tempted” by the idea of moving to the 20-time champions.
Man United picked up a huge three points in their hunt for Champions League football.
“Even though Olise signed a new contract in the aftermath of Chelsea failing to trigger his complicated release clause, there is absolutely no doubt that he is a potential 2024 departure. Manchester United’s old regime, before INEOS, really like Olise and he is tempted by the prospect of a move to Old Trafford as well.
“All indications are that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS will endorse that move because, as part of their due diligence when coming into the football club, they were aware of any historical transfer plans that were for January – even though nothing materialised – and also any window planning for the summer.
“There is continuity between Manchester United’s current recruitment team and anything INEOS do. They like a profile like Olise, so he can be termed a concrete target ahead of the summer.”
“Laughable” Olise is too good for Palace
Telegraph journalist Sam Dean has billed Olise and Palace team-mate Eberechi Eze as two of the most “watchable” players in the league, and described the gulf in quality between him and his team-mates as “laughable at times”.
The 22-year-old demonstrated this with a truly scintillating run of form immediately before a recent hamstring injury that saw him notch eight direct goal contributions in eight games and give defenders at Manchester City, Brighton, Chelsea, Brentford and Sheffield United nightmares.
Michael Olise stats (last five starts)
Average SofaScore rating
It’s abundantly clear at this point that he’s too good to be slugging it out near the bottom of the table with Palace, and is more than ready to take the step up to the elite level. Now that they’ve raised his release clause, the Eagles can sell him on favourable terms, and he can choose his preferred destination. United fans will be praying that Old Trafford is top of his list.