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Chelsea 'handed Michael Olise boost' as Crystal Palace identify £21.2m replacement

Arsenal could hand Chelsea major Olise boost as transfer 'talks' begin
© Reuters
Chelsea reportedly receive a boost in their efforts to sign Crystal Palace attacker Michael Olise, as the Eagles open talks over signing Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson.

Chelsea have reportedly received a significant boost in their pursuit of Crystal Palace's Michael Olise, as the Eagles have begun negotiations to sign a possible successor.

The Blues memorably pursued Olise's signature in the summer of 2023, when they are understood to have triggered a £35m release clause in the attacker's previous contract.

However, Olise ended up snubbing a switch to Stamford Bridge in favour of penning a new deal at Selhurst Park, which runs until 2027 with a reported release clause of approximately £60m.

Despite only making 19 appearances in the 2023-24 Premier League season due to injury, but he was a pivotal performer for Palace when fit, contributing 10 goals and six assists.

As a result, a move away from the Eagles is expected to materialise in the coming weeks, and despite interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, Chelsea are believed to be at the head of the queue once more.

Crystal Palace's Michael Olise during the warm up before the match on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Palace 'open talks' to sign Arsenal's Reiss Nelson

In recent days, Chelsea have apparently taken a major step forward in their efforts to bring Olise to their Stamford Bridge headquarters by agreeing personal terms with the France Under-21 international, who is also being courted by Newcastle United.

The Blues may still run into a release clause roadblock, as only clubs competing in the Champions League are thought to be able to trigger that £60m option, but an accord could still be reached if Olise makes his preference clear.

Enzo Maresca's men could be helped out by another of their London rivals, though, as CaughtOffside claims that Palace have now started negotiations to sign Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson as Olise's potential replacement.

The 24-year-old is said to have informed Arsenal of his desire to assess summer transfer opportunities after struggling for action in the 2023-24 season, after signing a new long-term deal until 2027 last summer.

As many as four clubs are believed to be pursuing the former England youth international, including Nottingham Forest, Fulham and West Ham United, but Palace are now said to have made the first move.

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson in action on December 17, 2023© Reuters

Palace 'preparing opening bid' for Nelson

The Eagles are supposedly ready to test the waters with an opening offer of £8.5m, but that bid should be swiftly rejected by Arsenal, who are instead hoping to raise £21.2m through Nelson's sale.

The Hale End product could be one of a few home-grown players to leave Mikel Arteta's ranks this summer alongside Aaron Ramsdale, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah, who are not part of the Spaniard's plans for the future either.

Nelson won the Premier League Game Changer award for the 2022-23 season thanks to his astonishing late winner in a 3-2 comeback success over Bournemouth, but he still only played a bit-part role in 2023-24.

The winger contributed one goal and two assists from 23 matches for the Gunners but was only handed one Premier League start, playing 75 minutes of a 2-0 home triumph over Luton Town.

Following that cameo, Nelson only made one of Arsenal's final eight Premier League squads of the 2023-24 season and totalled just 255 minutes in the top flight overall.

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Arsenal's Reiss Nelson celebrates scoring their first goal on September 27, 2023
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