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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson casts doubt on Michael Olise’s future

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has admitted Michael Olise’s immediate future is not 100% tied to Selhurst Park.

Two years after joining the Eagles from Reading in a transfer worth £8 million, the 21-year-old could leave south London for a more prominent location.

After sanctioning Riyad Mahrez’s mega-money move to the Saudi Pro League’s Al-Ahli last month, perennial Premier League champions Manchester City have placed a watchful eye on Olise.

London giants Arsenal and Chelsea are also in the race, making Palace sweat over their hopes of holding on to last season’s Players’ Player of the Year award winner.

Quizzed about the France U21 international’s future, Hodgson acknowledged an ever-growing interest in Palace’s standout performer last season.

“We had two outstanding wingers who were almost the best in the league,” the 75-year-old said, as quoted by The Athletic.

“Michael Olise on the right side and Wilf on the left. We don’t have Wilf anymore. Clubs are circling around (Olise).”

Strapped for reliable attacking options, Palace held Sevilla to a 1-1 friendly draw on Sunday – a game they lost on penalties.

Olise was on the sidelines with an injury he suffered during the recently completed UEFA U21 European Championship that will likely keep him out of action at the start of the upcoming Premier League campaign.

His absence is the least of Palace’s problems as they lost long-serving winger Wilfried Zaha to Galatasaray last week after his contract at Selhurst Park had expired.

In addition to the Ivory Coast international, James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic and Jack Butland have left the club as free agents this summer.

Palace have struggled on the incoming front, with Jefferson Lerma’s arrival on a Bosman deal from Bournemouth in June remaining the club’s only summer signing.

Hodgson has urged the Eagles hierarchy to address his squad’s shortcomings, calling for chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman to show some initiative in the transfer market.

“We were able today to tamper with the system and tried to get the best out of the players that we think are our best players at the moment on the field in a tactical formation,” he added.

“We’ve lost five senior players from last season and brought one in – Jefferson Lerma, he’s good and we’re happy to have him in – but there is still that hole of five senior players in the squad, two of whom were two of the real stars of the team.

“There’s a bit of work for the chairman (Steve Parish) and sporting director (Dougie Freedman) to do between now and the end of August.

“The team we put out today was our best team, but we don’t have the strength behind that team that we had last year with all those senior players we lost.”

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