Cheick Doucoure has been linked with a mega-money move to Liverpool this summer – but can a deal be actualized?
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson admits it was “nice” to see Michael Olise turn down a move to Chelsea – insisting the South Londoners can offer their players, Cheick Doucoure included, something “worth having”.
Such comments come after Chelsea reportedly triggered the £35m release clause in Olise’s Palace contract, but the France international rejected the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge and later signed a new deal with the Eagles.
Olise was expected to follow Wilfried Zaha in leaving Selhurst Park this summer, with the Ivory Coast international joining Turkish giants Galatasaray after his contract at his boyhood club expired. During the off-season, Zaha turned down numerous offers to prolong his stay with Hodgson’s side.
Following the departure of Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Doucoure have both been linked with big-money moves away from the Croydon this summer. Liverpool have been heavily touted with a move for the latter as a replacement for Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, who both made shock moves to Saudi Arabia.
However, Hodgson is hoping that Olise’s decision to extend his stay at Selhurst Park can prove that there is plenty for Palace to offer their up-and-coming stars.
“Michael (Olise) was a really important player for the good spell that we had towards the end of last season – he and Eberechi Eze struck up a good partnership so of course it’s a massive blow if you start the new season and a person of that importance has disappeared,” said Hodgson, prior to Palace’s encounter with Arsenal on Monday.
“We are delighted that he decided to choose Crystal Palace over a potential move to Chelsea and it’s nice to know that we can offer players something which they consider worth having.”
Yet despite being linked with a swoop for the Mali international, who only moved to the Premier League from Lens last summer, Liverpool completed the signing of VfB Stuttgart captain Watru Endo last week.
The surprise move for the 30-year-old holding midfielder came after the Reds failed in their pursuits of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who both decided to reject interest from Anfield in favour of signing lucrative, lengthy deals at Chelsea.
Speaking of the Japan international’s arrival, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: “You know it is not traditionally like that [signing a player of Endo’s age].
The last player in that age group was James Milner. [It was a 30-year-old Ragnar Klavan in 2016.] It is always a discussion we have. The owners really want 200 games at 20 years old. That is pretty difficult.
“I didn’t need any kind of convincing. I know that the best time for a football player is from 27 to 33 in a normal career. It depends on injuries, of course. That is why I did not need to change anything and he was on my list from the beginning.”
After four points from their opening two Premier League games, Liverpool travel to Newcastle United on Sunday. Meanwhile, the transfer window remains open until September 1.