Reading manager Veljko Paunovic has insisted that the club want to keep Michael Olise at the Madejski Stadium for many years to come, amid a raft of speculation around the player’s future.
Olise has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the January transfer window, with Liverpool and Leeds United among those said to be interested in the 19-year-old.
That talk has only been further intensified by rumours of an £8million release clause in Olise’s Reading contract, although Paunovic seems reluctant to discuss those claims.
Speaking about the situation surrounding Olise after his side’s goalless draw with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night, Paunovic told Berkshire Live: “We have to be very careful talking about contracts. There is always confidentiality involved and if there is anyone releasing that information they need to be careful.”
“What I can say is Michael is in the right and best possible place at this moment for his career. We want him to be with us for a long time and hopefully together in the Premier League – at one point during his career and hopefully that is soon.”
Indeed, it seems Paunovic wants Reading to be the club to prove pivotal in Olise’s career, although he appeared to admit there is no guarantee of that, as he added: “We want Michael to develop and become the player that we all see there is inside of him but we want him to be with Reading.
“Whether that happens or not – there are many circumstances that we sometimes don’t control but what we control is his environment and our approach towards him.”
A graduate of Reading’s academy, Olise has made 49 appearances in all competitions for the Royals, scoring four goals and providing nine assists in that time.
There are still around 18 months remaining on the midfielder’s contract with Reading, although the rumoured release clause in that deal would negate that if activated.
These are obviously interesting comments from Paunovic about Olise’s position at Reading.
It is understandable that the Royals want to keep the midfielder at the Madejski for as long as possible, given both the ability he has shown, and ability he possesses.
However, it seems as though Paunovic is aware of the fact that there is no guarantee of that, and that is something that you feel the long list of clubs supposedly interested in Olise mush look to take advantage of.