Man Utd 'leading race to sign Prem rival' as Sir Jim Ratcliffe stamps his authority

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen to have a strong first summer transfer window at Manchester United. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co ramp up their summer transfer plans. The young winger has caught the eye since stepping up to the Premier League and attracted interest from a host of clubs with Champions League ambitions.

ESPN claim that United are ahead of their rivals in pursuit of Olise, who has previously been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain. Mauricio Pochettino’s outfit saw their transfer collapse in dramatic fashion last year when they thought they had triggered Olise’s release clause, only for the 22-year-old to sign a new contract with Palace.

Olise has a release clause in his new deal, but the complex nature of its structure has left potential suitors unable to determine the total cost of prising him away from south London.

However, he is thought to cost significantly more than the £35million that Chelsea attempted to purchase him for, with figures speculated between £50m and £60m.

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Crystal Palace star Michael Olise is of interest to Manchester United. (Image: Getty)

But United’s new INEOS hierarchy have identified Olise as one of their key targets for the summer to bolster their attacking options. Despite being unable to offer Champions League football next season, the Red Devils remain steadfast in their opinion that elite talent can still be attracted to Old Trafford.

In Ratcliffe’s first summer window at United, he is keen to showcase that the new regime means business and after sweeping changes behind the scenes, the next step is adding quality to the 2024/25 squad.

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Especially since Oliver Glasner’s arrival at Selhurst Park, Olise has flourished as part of a front three with Eberechi Eze and Jean-Philippe Mateta, with interest also likely to be high for the English playmaker.

Olise has scored seven goals and registered four assists in just 16 league appearances this season, having missed a large portion of the campaign due to a hamstring injury he suffered on international duty.

In contrast, United’s wingers have struggled to live up to expectations aside from youngster Alejandro Garnacho, forcing the Red Devils to look at the transfer market with a view to poaching one of their league rivals’ standout players.