Chelsea face Michael Olise squad number issue after offering two players to Palace – Football News

Chelsea face Michael Olise squad number issue after offering two players to Palace

Michael Olise has been linked with a move to Cher (Image: Getty)

Chelsea transfer target Michael Olise could be heading for a collision course with Raheem Sterling if he completes a move to Stamford Bridge this summer. The Blues are set to go back in for the Crystal Palace winger despite their failed £35m bid 12 months ago, which they believed activated a release clause in his contract.

But the 22-year-old opted to stay at Palace, and duly signed a new deal with the club that runs until 2027.

That contract comes with a new clause, allowing Olise to move to another club if they offer £60m, a fee seemingly out of Chelsea’s reach as they battle to stay within profit and sustainability regulations.

However, Todd Boehly and co will reportedly counter that notion by instead offering Palace both Trevoh Chalobah and Noni Madueke as part of their offer. But what squad number they guarantee the former France under-21 international could also form an important part of any potential deal.

In his first regular campaign in senior football, with Reading in the 2020/21 season, Olise wore the No.7 shirt. Following that year he switched to Palace and took the same jersey for the club’s academy side.

He’s since spent three years in the Premier League with the first team at the Eagles. And under Patrick Vieira, Roy Hodgson, and current manager Oliver Glasner he’s continued to wear the shirt number made famous in England’s top flight by the likes of David Beckham, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Chelsea FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Raheem Sterling is the current Chelsea No.7. (Image: Getty)

But Sterling currently possesses the No.7 top at Chelsea. Despite struggling to find his best form since his £47.5m move from Manchester City two years ago, the experienced forward remains one of the squad’s most important and decorated stars, having won four Premier League titles during his stint under Pep Guardiola.

He cut a discontented figure at times last season though, jeered by his own supporters in games and reportedly unhappy at losing his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. He was also hauled off early by Mauricio Pochettino in the club’s League Cup final defeat against Liverpool.

New manager Enzo Maresca stripping him of his favourite shirt would undoubtedly raise questions over the future of the 29-year-old. The Italian could avoid a potential saga though by offering Olise the No.9 jersey, almost certain to be available when Romelu Lukaku’s departure is confirmed.

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However, Olise himself may not be so keen to follow in the footsteps of the Belgian striker, given the infamous ‘curse’ that many club fans believe comes with the number. In the Premier League era, the bulk of Chelsea strikers to wear the famous number have been perceived to be failed signings.

Chris Sutton, Mateja Kezman, Khalid Boulahrouz, Steve Sidwell, Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres and Franco di Santo are just some names on the notorious and lengthy list. Lukaku himself is the most expensive flop out of the group, lasting just one season in 2021/22 following his £97.5m switch from Inter Milan, before spending the two years since out on loan.