Crystal Palace could hand Arsenal a free run at their attacking target Mohammed Kudus this summer. Chelsea are also keen on the versatile attacker, though they have also reportedly identified Michael Olise as a target and won’t need both forwards.
Mauricio Pochettino is keen to bolster his forward ranks this summer, with the ex-Tottenham boss hinting that new signing Christopher Nkunku could be deployed as a striker in the upcoming campaign. The decision means that there is a need for another versatile attacker at Stamford Bridge capable of playing as a No 10 as well as on the right wing.
Several forwards have been linked with a move to the Blues this summer as a result, with The Athletic reporting that Kudus is close to reaching an agreement on personal terms with the club. The Ghana international is desperate to make the move to the Premier League this summer and rejected a contract extension offer from Ajax last season.
Arsenal also monitoring his situation closely and are expected to table an offer for his services once they have offloaded some of their fringe stars, including Cedric Soares and Nicolas Pepe. Given the finances and prospect of competing for silverware at the Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta’s side will be hopeful that they could lure the 22-year-old to the club if they make their approach concrete.
However, Crystal Palace can ensure that Arsenal don’t need to rush into negotiations with Ajax by being willing to open negotiations with Chelsea for Olise. According to RMC Sport, the France Under-21 international is keen to join the Blues this summer and has been ‘seduced’ by the project and the pay rise that he would receive from moving across London.
It is said that Pochettino’s side have tabled an offer in the region of £39m for the ex-Reading star, with that figure including add-ons – though that will not activate the supposed £35m release clause in Olise’s contract as it is not a fixed fee.
Palace have already been forced to begin plotting an attacking overhaul this summer due to Wilfried Zaha taking the decision to leave Selhurst Park as a free agent in favour of heading to Galatasaray. Thus, negotiating a deal for Olise could not come at a worse time for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Though the Eagles may feel that they have been pushed into a corner by the release clause and may have to entertain the Chelsea approach. That would be music to the ears of Arteta and allow him time to reduce the size of his squad without too much urgency.