Chelsea activated Michael Olise’s £35m release clause but the winger has decided to stay at Crystal Palace; Olise registered 11 assists in the Premier League last season; Palace have held on to a key attacking talent after losing Wilfried Zaha on a free transfer
Michael Olise has committed his future to Crystal Palace by signing a new four-year contract amid interest from Chelsea, Eagles owner Steve Parish has confirmed.
The news comes a day after it was reported Chelsea had activated a £35m release clause in Olise’s previous contract with Palace.
The France U21 international, who is currently recovering from an injury sustained over the summer, registered 11 assists and scored twice for the Eagles last season.
Speaking on Thursday, Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: “It’s the best possible news we could have. The decision has been his.
“We’ve been concerned, as one is concerned when a club of Chelsea’s stature start to take an interest in a player and suggest that a move to them might be the best bet.
“I’ve 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. We can help him move very quickly to another level.
“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.”
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Parish said he was “absolutely delighted” at Olise’s renewal, adding: “It puts to bed a lot of speculation and lifts everybody.
“With Wilfried [Zaha] going, it would have been a blow to lose Michael. We’re now going into the season with pretty much the team we ended last season with. We’ll try to do one or two more things next week but this makes us all feel a bit better.
“Michael’s got his own mind and people have got to make decisions about their own life. We have given him the room to do that and the fans will love him all the more for making that decision.
“I think Michael will go right to the very top of the game but right now, for his development, this is a good decision.”
The news is a blow for Chelsea, who have recently agreed high-profile deals for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia for a combined £173m.
Both players had the option to join Liverpool after the Reds agreed deals with their previous clubs, but opted to join Chelsea instead.
Meanwhile, Palace have avoided the possibility of losing another key player after Zaha left for Galatasaray on a free transfer.
Why did Olise turn down Chelsea?
Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth:
“Chelsea met the release clause in Michael Olise’s contract worth £35m – that would have allowed Chelsea to talk to Olise.
“However, there was no response from Olise or Palace after Chelsea’s offer had gone in. Olise then signed a new four-year deal with Crystal Palace.
“So, why did Olise turn down Chelsea? On face value, Olise sees his future at Palace and feels his development is best served at Selhurst Park. Sky Sports News understands Chelsea never withdrew their offer. That would indicate Olise signed a new deal because he wanted to remain at Palace.
“Details of Olise’s new contract have not been made public aside of it being a four-year deal. There is no confirmation as to whether there is a new release clause – or indeed if there is a release clause at all.”
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