Manchester United are planning to use Aaron Wan-Bissaka in a cash-plus-player bid to tempt Crystal Palace into selling Michael Olise to them in the summer. Olise has been identified by INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe as a top target to improve an ailing United attack that has scored just 22 times in 20 Premier League matches this season.
Olise has been restricted to nine top-flight appearances in the current campaign due to a hamstring injury but has quickly found form with five goals and one assist. That follows on from a return of two goals and 11 assists in 40 matches last season.
The Frenchman only signed a new four-year contract at Palace in August that pays him £100,000 a week at Selhurst Park. But included in that agreement was a release clause that can be activated by interested clubs this coming summer.
His previous deal included a lowly £35million clause but the new buy-out is thought to be nearer to double that figure. But in an effort to reduce the cash sum they would owe Palace, the Daily Star say United will offer a cash-plus-player package for Olise at the end of the season.
Palace have long been interested in bringing their former right-back Wan-Bissaka, who United paid £50million to sign in the summer of 2019, back to the club. The Englishman has since played 175 times for the Red Devils after racking up 46 games with the Eagles.
United are well aware of Palace’s interest and purposefully exercised an option to extend the full-back’s contract by 12 months last month. That keeps him contracted to United until the summer of 2025.
It prevents Palace from being able to snare their academy graduate, now 26, on a free transfer later this year and means United can use him in their efforts to sign France under-21 international Olise. The 22-year-old is also admired by Chelsea and used to play for the Blues at youth level.
He spent seven years at Chelsea and then a year at Manchester City before joining Reading, where he made his name. He was named the Championship Young Player of the Year in 2020-21 after a seven-assist, 12-goal campaign for the Royals.
Palace then exercised a release clause in his Reading contract of around £8m in the summer of 2021. He was named Palace’s Players’ Player of the Year last season and Chelsea tried to sign him for £35m a few months ago, activating his buy-out.
Yet the attacking midfielder instead went on to sign a new contract with Palace just as he looked Stamford Bridge-bound. Man City had also considered a move for their former youngster but now United are looking to move to the front of the queue having smartly extended Wan-Bissaka’s contract to improve their chances of doing a deal for less than Olise’s release clause.