Leicester City are reportedly looking to sign Reading starlet Michael Olise, with former club Chelsea also in the running to land the French midfielder.
The Sun on Sunday reported that the race for Michael Olise is heating up as the January transfer window approaches. The Reading midfielder has just 18 months left on his contract and is drawing interest from the likes of Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Leeds United along with former club Chelsea.
The report further states that the widespread interest from the Premier League clubs combined with the ticking time bomb that is his current Reading deal might force the Championship outfit’s hand into listening to offers even in January, although a summer move looks more realistic.
Michael Olise is a central attacking midfielder by trade, with the ability to also play on either flank, owing to his pace and dribbling ability. Arriving from Chelsea in 2015, Reading welcomed the gem and Olise has since repaid the faith shown in him by the Championship club.
The 2020/21 season could be termed as a true breakout season for Olise, who has accumulated 4 goals and 7 assists to his name in 20 Championship appearances so far, playing part in every Reading match up until now. Naturally, the likes of Leicester and Chelsea are keen on the 19-year-old.
Brendan Rodgers is looking to delve into the market for a replacement for Demarai Gray, who is set to be out of contract in the summer and is unlikely to extend his stay at Leicester beyond the 2020/21 season by the looks of it. The Foxes are looking at Olise as a direct replacement, despite Olise being more comfortable through the middle.
A major part of the reason is that Rodgers sets his side up in a way that allows interchangeability of position on the field between his attacking midfielder and wingers, depending on the situation and opposition.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are simply looking at this as an opportunity to welcome Olise back. Frank Lampard has seen his side falter a few times in attack, despite having strengthened the area heavily. However, the Reading midfielder is unlikely to be given much of a chance in the first-team setup straight away, even if he does agree to join his former club.
Chelsea are already facing the prospect of having to let Callum Hudson-Odoi go out on loan, with the English international frustrated at a lack of playing time. Olise will definitely be lower in the pecking order if he arrives, thus hampering his development.
Can 🇫🇷 Michael Olise (19) get some love for the season he’s having?
☑️ 13 starts
⚽️ 3 goals
🅰️ 6 assists
🔑 1.7 key passes p/g
⚔️ 4.4 duels won p/g
💯 Unbeaten when he scores/assists
Has been vital digging out of a bad run of form for the Royals.
— Ticket Huddle (@TicketHuddle) December 15, 2020
There are other clubs in contention as well, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United all eyeing a move for the Reading midfielder. While the first two clubs would serve Olise in a similar stead to Chelsea, Leeds United are reportedly in the market for addition to their attacking department and might consider Olise as an alternative target to Daniel James.
With just 18 months left on his current deal, Reading are likely to allow Olise to move up the ladder in the summer, with a January deal unlikely. None of the suitors seem to be in a hurry to sign the 19-year-old and unless Leeds United end up deeming Olise a necessary addition for the current season, Olise will remain a Reading player till the summer of 2021.