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Straight to the target, Manchester United has a new offer for Crystal Palace

By Angus Barnes

Straight to the target, Manchester United has a new offer for Crystal Palace

Man United have been heavily linked with the signing of Michael Olise in recent weeks.

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Manchester United-linked winger Michael Olise is set for another spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. The playmaker, who has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks, was forced off in Palace's 4-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, just minutes after coming off the bench. Though Hodgson has not put a timescale on how long the London-born French youth international could be sidelined for, he has described the injury as being "serious".

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News of this injury is another body blow for Olise, who has played just 11 times this term because of injury troubles. He did not make his first appearance of this season until November 11 after another hamstring injury forced him to miss the first three months of the campaign. Despite his injury absences, he has contributed six goals and three assists this season, highlighting his levels when fit and available.

"It's devastating for him, for the club, for everybody really," Hodgson said, speaking on Thursday. "I don't think he was carrying an injury, I think it was more fatigue. "It's not easy when you've got a player like Olise on the bench to turn around and say 'just sit there'. Michael is a quiet guy and that's another part of this situation. "Another player might have come up and said, 'Look, I don't think it's worth it. I need a bit more time.' But that's not fair on him, he's just going along with what the club thinks."

Ahead of this summer's transfer window, Olise has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford to freshen up Erik ten Hag's attacking options. Capable of playing out wide or through the middle, the former Reading ace is a player who offers versatility and a genuine goalscoring threat. Reports elsewhere in recent months have suggested any interested club will have to pay something close to £50million to stand any chance of extracting him from Selhurst Park.

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Michael Olise and his future

As talented as he is, Olise's fitness record this season is a concern meaning it could represent a huge gamble by United to invest such a lavish amount of money in his services, particularly when the club must correct its recruitment mistakes of yesteryear. But Olise does have durability. He played 40 matches for Palace last season and appeared on 32 occasions in 2021/22. He also played 46 times in his final season at Reading in 2020/21.

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