Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has cooled talk that Michael Olise has an £8m release clause, as AC Milan joined the race for the talented youngster.
The 19-year-old has been one of the standout performers in the Championship this season, contributing four goals and seven assists in 20 games.
Such form has caught the attention of top-tier clubs though, with Football Insider claiming that Liverpool and Leeds are tracking Olise, whilst Italian media outlets stated yesterday that Italian giants AC Milan are also monitoring the Frenchman.
Worryingly, it has previously been reported that Olise could depart for £8m, which would make him a real bargain in today’s game.
However, speaking to the Reading Chronicle, Paunovic confirmed that he has heard nothing about that, as he looks to keep Olise for the long-term.
“I’m not aware of it. The most important thing for Michael is that he has found a place where he is being protected, supported, playing games more than ever and is being given opportunities.
“I am confident. But, I’m also confident to tell you that you never know. Every single player is exposed to the market and to the teams that have needs so somebody may pull the trigger. Are we going to be affected by that? It is possible, but I am confident and I am working with him on a long-term [basis].”
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Ultimately, we will see within a few days whether Olise has a release clause, because if he is available for £8m then there should be offers in from clubs across Europe!
So, if that is the case, then realistically it’s hard to see how Reading keep the player.
Even if he doesn’t, big bids are to be expected, but Paunovic has done well for Olise, and seeing out the season with the Royals may be best for his development.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.