Michael Olise Snubs Chelsea and Stays at Crystal Palace

Russell Nketiah Tannor
Chelsea transfer blow as Michael Olise signs new four-year contract with Crystal Palace despite Blues having triggered his £35m release clause

Chelsea have been left stunned by Michael Olise's decision to snub their offer and sign a new four-year contract with Crystal Palace. The Blues had triggered the £35m release clause in the 21-year-old's contract earlier this week and were confident of securing his signature. However, Olise opted to stay loyal to the Eagles and extend his stay at Selhurst Park until 2027.

Olise, who was born in England but represents France at under-21 level, had a breakthrough season last term, scoring seven goals and providing 12 assists in 44 appearances for Palace. He was named the EFL Young Player of the Year and was included in the Championship Team of the Season. His performances attracted the interest of several top clubs, including Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, but Chelsea seemed to have won the race for his services.

The west London club activated Olise's release clause on Tuesday and expected him to undergo a medical and agree personal terms shortly. However, Palace chairman Steve Parish intervened and persuaded Olise to reject Chelsea's approach and commit his future to the south London club. Parish was reportedly furious with Chelsea's conduct and was considering making a formal complaint to the Premier League over their alleged tapping up of Olise.

Chelsea transfer blow as Michael Olise signs new four-year contract with Crystal Palace despite Blues having triggered his £35m release clause

Palace announced Olise's new deal on Thursday, with Parish expressing his delight on social media. "I’m absolutely delighted to announce @m.olise has decided to commit his future to Crystal Palace football club and this afternoon signed a new four year deal with the club," he wrote on Instagram. "Michael is an amazing talent and we are so happy he has chosen to continue his development with us."

Olise also expressed his happiness at signing a new contract with Palace. "I'm very happy to sign this new deal with Crystal Palace," he said. "They gave me my first chance in professional football and I'm very grateful for that. I've learned a lot from the manager, the staff and my teammates here and I want to keep improving with them. I know there was interest from other clubs, but I love it here and I want to help the club achieve its goals."

Chelsea's failure to land Olise is a major blow for Thomas Tuchel, who was keen to add more creativity and flair to his attack. The German coach had identified Olise as a potential replacement for Hakim Ziyech, who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge after a disappointing debut season. Chelsea are also facing competition from Manchester City for their top target Harry Kane, who has handed in a transfer request at Tottenham.

The Blues will now have to look elsewhere for reinforcements, with Nottingham Forest's Brennan Johnson being touted as an alternative option. The 20-year-old winger impressed on loan at Lincoln City last season, scoring 13 goals and providing 14 assists in 48 games. He has also been linked with Liverpool, Leicester City and Brighton.

Chelsea will hope to bounce back from their transfer setback when they face Arsenal in their second Premier League game of the season on Saturday. The reigning European champions started their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, with goals from Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Timo Werner.

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