Manchester United has reportedly targeted Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise as one of the first transfer priorities in the upcoming Sir Jim Ratcliffe era. As part of the potential deal for the 22-year-old star, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is being considered for a return to Selhurst Park in a swap arrangement.
With Wan-Bissaka entering the final 12 months of his United contract, this summer represents the last opportunity for the club to recoup a portion of the £50 million paid for his signature in 2019. Utilizing Wan-Bissaka as part of a deal for Olise, a standout winger in the Premier League, is seen as a viable strategy.
Reports suggest that the availability of the 26-year-old Wan-Bissaka could give United an edge over Chelsea and Liverpool in the race for Olise. The willingness of Wan-Bissaka to return to Palace remains uncertain.
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In essence, if the report is accurate, it sheds light on Xavi’s character. Regardless of tactical considerations or sporting challenges, he epitomizes a true Barcelona man, having been nurtured in the youth academy and a key figure in the club’s golden generation.
While Xavi maintains confidence in himself and his players, the recent defeat to Real Madrid has taken its toll. Barcelona is currently awaiting the Champions League tie, and no immediate decisions are expected. However, if Barcelona faces setbacks against Napoli, potential changes could be accelerated.
Should United fail to secure Wan-Bissaka for the Olise deal, they have alternative players to offer to Palace:
1. Victor Lindelof: Like Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof will enter the final year of his contract in the summer. As an experienced Premier League and European player, he could provide a valuable addition to Palace’s central-defensive options.
2. Christian Eriksen: Entering the final third of his three-year contract with United, Eriksen, turning 32 next month, might not command a high transfer fee. However, his age could impact negotiations.
3. Facundo Pellistri: United may express interest in Antony this summer, following a less-than-ideal two seasons since his £86 million switch from Ajax. While Palace might consider adding him to their ranks, Pellistri, at 22, may not significantly affect Olise’s asking price.