Reading have been dealt a blow to their chances of keeping Michael Olise at the Madejski Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by TEAMtalk, who claimed that French champions Lille have joined the race for the £10.8m-rated attacking midfielder ahead of a potential move in the upcoming transfer window.
The 19-year-old looks set to be one of the transfer stories of the summer, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Leeds also reported to be keen on a move for the former France under-18 international.
It has been reported that the Reading star could be available for a fee of around £8m due to a release clause in his contract, although this claim is disputed.
Considering just how impressive Olise has been for the Royals this season, the news of yet more interest in the midfielder is likely to come as a blow to both Veljko Paunovic and fans of the club alike.
Over his 44 Championship appearances this season, the 19-year-old scored seven goals, registered 12 assists and created 10 big chances for his team-mates, as well as averaging 1.6 shots and 1.9 key passes per game.
These metrics saw the player Sam Baldock dubbed as “fearless” earn a highly impressive seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.21, ranking him as Reading’s best performer in the league by a considerable distance.
As such, it would very much appear that the winger will be an important part of Paunovic’s plans for the Royals going forward, as the 43-year-old manager looks to build a side capable of going one further than his team managed in the Championship this season and secure a play-off position next term.
However, with such a great deal of interest in the £2,200-per-week youngster, and from clubs who will be playing Champions League football next season, the possibility of Reading keeping hold of the midfielder appears to be rather slim, something which will undoubtedly be a big blow for Paunovic.