Ange Postecoglou in relaxed mood after Celtic pursuit of Riley McGree

By Euan Davidson

January 13, 2022

If Ange Postecoglou was meant to be gutted, furious or any emotion in-between after Celtic ended their interest in Riley McGree, then he didn’t sound it. Far from it.

In fact, the Celtic boss was in a typically relaxed mood as he answered transfer questions from the media today. Postecoglou and Celtic have linked to a litany of names, inlcuding Australian midfielder Riley McGree.

However, despite Ange knowing the player well, it looks as if Middlesbrough have offered a better financial deal for his club, Charlotte FC, and the player himself.

Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

McGree, who wouldn’t have been guaranteed a start at Celtic, is being offered £20,000 a week, according to the Daily Record. For a player who’d have been useful, rather than essential, it would’ve been a hefty chunk for Celtic to spend on one player.

As such, Postecoglou described the situation as “fine”. He said that Celtic had tried to sign him, but it just didn’t work out after early talks.

The Celtic manager said [Celtic FC/YouTube]: “Riley McGree was somebody we had an interest in, because of my association with him.

“Obviously I know the player very well.

“But after initial discussions, he’s decided to look elsewhere, which is fine.”

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Daizen Maeda already loving Glasgow, as Ange bolsters Celtic backroom team
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Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou decidedly non-plussed after Riley McGree interest

Well, this is refreshing. A manager who’s honest about transfers? Try finding 10 of those to a penny in modern football.

More often than not, managers deal in speculation and innuendo, and fair enough. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Being declarative could cause embarrassment down the line. But this approach is just more honest to supporters. Just saying “Look, we tried, but it didn’t work out” is surprisingly invigorating.

This is important, because we need cool heads here. Ange Postecoglou, as manager of a club like Celtic, is going to be linked with every player under the sun. Even the most steely managers could be forgiven for letting speculation affect them.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Postecoglou and Nicholson seem to have everything in hand. McGree could have been a useful addition. Really, there’s no point pretending he’d not have been a relatively exciting signing. However, we’re probably fine in central midfield.

It is what it is. If Ange hadn’t landed his J League trio, three targets he identified early doors, then it might be a different story. However, he did, and while McGree might’ve been nice, it’s not the disaster it’s being reported as.

Celtic will be just fine.

Read more: Chris Sutton rips into Celtic rivals’ MD Stewart Robertson over fan allocation