Celtic could face a late battle to hang onto Matt O’Riley this month with Premier League clubs Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, West Ham United and Wolves all weighing up a move before the window closes.
HITC Football understands that, while Celtic have made it two-thirds through the January window without losing too much sleep over Matt O’Riley’s future, that could yet change. We have been informed that nearly half of the clubs in the English Premier League could yet firm up their interest in test The Hoops’ resolve before the clock strikes midnight on February 1st.
Celtic ace Matt O’Riley has Premier League admirers
Crystal Palace, Everton, West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all considering late moves for the London-born Denmark international. As are Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Fulham too, The Cottagers mulling over a reunion for a player who spent 11 years in their academy before leaving in 2020 and making his name at MK Dons in the EFL.
“I’m not aware of any interest,” was the response of Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers on Friday. “But it’s natural. If you’ve got good players, then they will attract attention. But I’m not focused on that at all.
“We don’t want to be losing any (of our best players). The plan was to add to the squad, and that’s still the plan.”
HITC understands that there is plenty of interest from abroad too. Nice, Lille, Napoli and Serie A leaders Inter Milan are all big fans of the stylish, left-footed attacking midfielder. La Liga challengers Girona too, O’Riley shining against Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group-stages.
O’Riley has already completed the so-called ‘double-double’ in 2023/24. Hitting ten goals as well as 10 assists in all competitions.
Worth ‘£30 million at least’
“Matt’s had a huge impact on the team this season. He’s been magnificent. Wherever I’ve watched him, be it domestically or in Europe, he’s been excellent,” former Celtic boss Neil Lennon tells the Scottish Sun.
“His three assists in the Champions League were out of this world, and his game has just improved no end. Under Brendan, he’s scoring a lot of goals, and creating so many opportunities. He’s always a threat, and he’s got a real knack of making those late runs into the box, undetected.
“He’s a fantastic talent.
“He’s proven himself at the highest level, in the Champions League. He’s been the best player in Scotland this season. So you’re looking at £25 to 30 million for him, at least,” Lennon adds.
“I think he’s a top, top player and I believe he could play at a very high level in the Premier League. If you’re looking at any of the top six or seven teams in England, Matt could play there.”
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