England and France involved in tussle over Premier League star’s international allegiance: Reports

England and France are involved in a tussle over Michael Olise
England and France are involved in a tussle over Michael Olise's international allegiance

The English and French national teams are reportedly engaged in a tug-of-war over Crystal Palace star Michael Olise. The winger has already featured for the French Under-18 and Under-21 sides but hasn't made a senior appearance for Les Bleus yet, leading to speculation over his international allegiance.

Olise was born in England to a Nigerian father and a French-Algerian mother, astonishingly making him eligible to represent France, England, Nigeria or Algeria internationally.

The 22-year-old has missed a lot of action this season due to a recurring hamstring injury but has been impressive during his limited time on the pitch. In 19 Premier League appearances, he has bagged 10 goals and six assists, leading to murmurs about a potential international call-up.

Yet, France coach Didier Deschamps did not name him in his squad for the upcoming European Championships. Even in the eventuality of Kingsley Coman's withdrawal due to injury, Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby is expected to be named as the replacement (according to L'Equipe).

On the other hand, Southgate has not ruled out a potential Three Lions call-up for Olise in the near future. However, he is worried that French Olympic team coach Thierry Henry could potentially call him up for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which would complicate matters even further.

The 53-year-old said (via GFFN):

"He would need to obtain an association transfer. This process would take a bit of time. He is clearly a very good player and he has been selected in the [France] squad, maybe they’ll take him to the Olympics, I don’t know. He is a player we should have an interest in because he is a very good player but there is no way you could do all of that in time for the Euros."

Manchester United lead the race to sign Michael Olise from Crystal Palace - Reports

Crystal Palace star Michael Olise is not only the subject of a tussle at the international level between England and France but also at the club level.

Top Premier League sides like Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester United have reportedly expressed their interest in signing the player. According to FootballTransfers, the Red Devils are the side leading the race for his signature.

United are reportedly looking for an upgrade on the right wing. Star signing Antony, who was bought from Ajax for a reported fee of a whopping £85 million, has failed to live up to his billing, while Amad Diallo has been blowing hot and cold.

Olise is believed to be a boyhood United fan, which has given a massive boost to new owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS' pursuit of his services. However, a move for the 22-year-old forward will not be straightforward for the Red Devils.

The youngster, who has spent time at Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City's academies, signed a new contract until 2027 with the Eagles in August 2023. The new deal included a €70 million release clause, which his suitors could potentially activate in the summer.

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