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Crystal Palace star Olise included in France squad

Hosts France will be among the favorites to claim the gold medal on home soil

Thierry Henry

Michael Olise was today included in France’s preliminary squad for the Olympic Games this summer.

The Crystal Palace midfielder is eligible to play for France, as well as England, Algeria and Nigeria. But, having played for France’s Under-21 side earlier this year, it seems his heart is set on Les Bleus despite recent speculation he was a player interesting England boss Gareth Southgate.

Olise was joined in the 25-man squad by his Palace team-mate Jean-Philippe Mateta.

There were also call-ups for Paris Saint-Germain duo Bradley Barcola and Warren Zaïre-Emery despite both men also being included in France’s squad for the European Championship.

Their former PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who will complete his move to Real Madrid this week, was not selected as expected, although Olympic team boss Thierry Henry has not ruled him out entirely.

He said: “You never give up hope. We don’t know what will happen, but I must provide a fairly realistic list without making assumptions.

“The list can evolve, but we need to give the players time to prepare. You don’t close the door on anyone. There are no discussions. You come, you ask, they tell you, and you leave. The last time I faced so many rejections, I was in school.”

Henry explained that this was very much a provisional group. He has selected just two players over the age of 23 but said: “There will be three [in the final squad], but I can’t tell you more. The clubs do not know but have the right to retain the players.”

Henry has struggled to satisfy club demands and admitted he had to change names just “25 minutes before” the press conference.

France take on Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Japan in warm-up games before opening their Olympic campaign against the United States in Marseille on July 24.

The France squad is: Chevalier (Lille), Restes (Toulouse), Nkambadio (Paris FC), Risser (Strasbourg); Sildillia (Freiburg), Diakité (Lille), Lukeba (RB Leipzig), Estève (Burnley), Yoro (Lille), Truffert (Rennes), Locko (Brest); Zaïre-Emery (PSG), Thuram (Nice), Koné (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Akliouche (Monaco), Millot (Stuttgart), Chotard (Montpellier), Doué (Rennes), Ugochukwu (Chelsea); Barcola (PSG), Lacazette (Lyon), Mateta (Crystal Palace), Tel (Bayern Munich), Olise (Crystal Palace), Kalimuendo (Rennes)

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.