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Arsenal look at £40m Palace star as Saka backup

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND: Michael Olise of Crystal Palace in action during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace at American Express Community Stadium on March 15, 2023. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Steve Kay reports for FootballTransfers that Mikel Arteta is a big fan of Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, and Arsenal are interested in signing the winger this summer.

Olise is reportedly viewed as an ideal backup to Bukayo Saka, with Crystal Palace looking for a fee of around £40m.

The player still has three years left on his deal with Palace, so they’re in a strong position to keep him. But FootballTransfers claim Olise is an Arsenal fan and could put pressure on his current club if they received an offer.

Relegation from the Premier League would also reduce Olise’s valuation, but Palace are currently six points and six teams clear of dropping into the relegation zone.

Six points is a marginal gap at the top of the league – as Arsenal fans will be all too aware right now – but at the bottom of the league, it’s pretty significant.

For example, Nottingham Forest are currently 18th, with 27 points from 30 games.

At that rate, they’re only projected to pick up a further seven points from their final eight matches of the season. Palace would have to lose every single remaining game to fall behind them in that case.

Crystal Palace’s French midfielder Michael Olise (R) runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 19, 2023. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Assuming Palace stay up, they’ll probably want to hold onto Olise this summer. He’s started 23 of their 30 Premier League matches this season, scoring two goals and assisting eight, and Palace already look set to lose one forward in free-agent Wilfried Zaha.

It will come down to how badly Olise wants to leave, and whether Arsenal are genuinely ready to make a serious move for him.


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