£200m spent, Jadon Sancho choice - Michael Olise to Manchester United transfer verdict given

Michael Olise
Manchester United are reportedly interested in Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise -Credit:Getty Images - Bastian Frej

Michael Olise has been linked with a move to Manchester United ahead of the summer transfer window - despite signing a new contract at Crystal Palace last summer.

The winger has impressed with the Eagles over the past two seasons, emerging as one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League. Since joining from Reading, the 22-year-old has scored 13 goals and assisted another 23.

His 2023/24 season has been hit with injury, but he has still managed seven goals and four assists in 16 Premier League appearances. Olise was linked with a move to Chelsea last year, when the Blues tried to activate a £35m release clause but he opted to sign a new deal at Selhurst Park.

READ MORE: Manchester United hatch FFP plan to complete £60m summer transfer

READ MORE: Rashford dropped, new Garnacho role - Man United starting XI with £60m Michael Olise transfer

ESPN have reported that United are the frontrunners for his signature, with his new release clause said to be between £50m and £60m. It has been suggested that Aaron Wan Bissaka could be offered in any deal to sign Olise after joining the Manchester United from Palace for £50m in 2019.

So, would spending £50m-plus for Olise be a good piece of business for United? Our Manchester Evening News panel have had their say...

Louis Saha - Former Manchester United striker

Former United striker Louis Saha has insisted he can see why United are interested. Speaking to MEN Sport via BetFred, he said: “I’m a big fan of his. He’s picked up a few injuries but he’s done really well since his return. I’m not going to be surprised if he gets a lot of offers from clubs because he’s such an exciting player and I’m looking forward to seeing him compete in the Olympics for France this year.

“I do see his potential and when I see the setup of Manchester United at the moment, I do feel sorry for the wingers. Olise is a bit more flexible, more capable of playing as a number ten in regards to what he’s achieved with Crystal Palace. There are a lot of things that I’m looking for in the summer because there’s a lot of misshaping at Manchester United and I don’t know how they’re going to try and build this midfield with Mason Mount still to come back because he will definitely want to return and make a point.

“I think we need those players who are capable of taking players on one-on-one in different areas and not be solely dependent on Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho to cater for Rasmus Højlund. You need something else alongside him because it sometimes looks as if he’s struggling to get going because there’s not a lot of support close to him. I do believe he could benefit from different types of players around him.”

Steven Railston - MEN Manchester United writer

United have spent £200million on right-wingers across the last four years and they are no closer to solving that position, which would explain interest in Olise.

Crystal Palace have regressed this season and would be in the relegation zone without Olise and Eberechi Eze, who have practically single-handedly dragged the Eagles to safety.

Would Olise be an update on Antony? Absolutely. The winger has taken his game to the next level over the last 18 months and he scored a stunning free-kick against United in January last year to ensure that game at Selhurst Park finished in a draw.

Olise is a throwback to wingers of yesterday, not afraid to take on the opposition full-back and cross the ball, and he clearly has the ability to contribute goals and assists.

The problem is other positions - centre-back, centre-midfield and centre-forward - need to be strengthened by United before a new right-wing is signed. Garnacho might be playing out of position on that side, but he's still effective and throwing more money at the position shouldn't be high on the agenda.

Tyrone Marshall - MEN senior football writer

Olise has plenty of promise as a Premier League player but he feels like a luxury signing for United at this stage. In terms of an attacking signing the priority has to be someone who can play centrally to share the goalscoring burden with Rasmus Hojlund, rather than another wide player.

His record of seven goals and four assists from the right this season compares favourably with United’s other options on that flank but unless at least one of Antony or Amad is sold, then moving for Olise seems unnecessary. He is a sell-to-buy signing at this stage, with the money available for now invested in priorities at centre-back and centre-forward.

But if United do manage to find a buyer for Antony then Olise would feel like an upgrade at the moment. At 22 he has a better Premier League pedigree than the Brazilian and is also the kind of tricky winger to get fans off their seat.

United will see at close quarters on Monday just how much improvement Olise has made in his time at Selhurst Park, but his signing this summer should be low down the list of priorities.

George Smith - MEN senior football writer

Reports connecting United with Olise have persisted for months, meaning it is hardly surprising they are increasing as we get closer towards the transfer window. United need to invest in players who have the potential to improve and Olise fits that category.

Since joining Palace from Reading in 2021, he has improved considerably, often acting as a creative hub within the Londoners' ranks. He ended last season with two goals and 11 assists and has seven goals and four assists in just 16 games this season.

His tally of 16 appearances, however, is what might ring alarm bells for some United fans. He has contended with two separate hamstring injuries this season and the Reds can ill-afford to bring in new recruits this summer who are injury prone.

Despite that, Olise is an exciting talent who has the potential to play at the highest level. He is a multifunctional attacker, capable of playing in several different positions. Provided the price is not too drastic, he is certainly an operator United should explore the possibility of signing.

Amie Wilson - Central sports writer

Michael Olise has proven that he can do it in the Premier League which is a big plus for any signing, there should be no transition period as a player gets used to the league. United could also be on the search for a replacement for Jadon Sancho in the summer, given his performances for Dortmund, Olise fits that bill.

But it’s the price that United will have to pay for the transfer that could be the big problem. Just one year after they could have potentially signed him for £35 million, the price is now set to almost double - something that is well in Palace’s right to do.

Given that he has struggled with injuries this season, is it a risk that United could take, they already have a lot of players who spend time in the treatment room, do they want to spend a big amount on another player who could break down after just a few games?

United will also have to convince Olise to make the move, he turned down a transfer to Chelsea last summer, feeling that he would better develop at Palace. Without Champions League football on offer, it could be a hard task to tear the player away from Selhurst Park.

Josh Holland - Central sports writer

United’s past dealings in the transfer window for wingers haven’t yielded good results. However, Olise is a player that shouldn’t surprise people to be on the Reds' radar.

Palace have struggled this season and they will struggle to keep hold of the winger - and Eberechi Eze - this summer with big clubs showing interest. United can make a huge statement of intent to purchase the Frenchman in a huge summer transfer window.

It’s not very often you can sign a winger who likes to take on his man, has the right arrogance about him and ability to score from different angles and has Premier League experience. Olise is that man.

Marcus Rashford’s bad form and uncertain future alongside Antony and Jadon Sancho each having their own struggles means Erik ten Hag will be desperate to bolster his options in attack.

The only negative about the deal is that the club simply cannot keep throwing money at players every time a past move doesn’t work. If Olise is targeted, they have to make sure they have a plan in place to get the best out of him.

Tom Coley - Central sports writer

Okay, now we're talking. This is exactly the sort of transfer Manchester United need to be all over.

Olise is the gold standard of Premier League attackers. He's right up there with the best. Keep him fit and here is a readymade world beater.

He has experience for his age and has bossed it at Championship level which is always a big tick in my book. Those who come through the ranks like that have an edge to them, a quality to their game which sets them apart. Olise has it in spades.

He is the type of player worth basing a whole team around. He can be the creative hub that Bruno Fernandes was and live up to the hype of Jadon Sancho. Having spent much of last summer moving close to Chelsea, it would also be a massive blow for them.

Cole Palmer has gone in and done a stellar job but I think Olise, when fit, can have a similar galvanising impact at United should a deal be completed. If that's the case then a return for Sancho becomes complex.

The two of them could co-exist but it would certainly mean a split in minutes and the likely exit of Antony. That isn't something to worry about though. Olise is a player that you make space for.

Clear the right wing, put aside the budget, and Crystal Palace a blank cheque. Olise is everything that a team can need. He's quality now but potential stardom awaits.

He is the sort of attacker that Ineos needs to look at and find more of across the pitch. They don't come much better in terms of available players proven at this level.