Celtic hero Matt O'Riley sends clear Champions League message following Leicester speculation

By John McGinley

July 22, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley doesn’t sound like a man ready to up sticks and leave Glasgow, as he sets sights on impressing in the Champions League this season.

A few days ago, it was reported by The Telegraph that O’Riley was high on a list of Leicester City options this summer as they prepare for another English Premier League campaign.

It’s speculation that didn’t bother Ange Postecoglou, as we discussed yesterday. And it seems all that’s on O’Riley’s mind is impressing for the Bhoys and making a push for the World Cup.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Speaking to Sky Sports this afternoon, O’Riley said: “I probably have a few targets. First of all, just to improve my level, naturally. I thought I did well last season but I still think I can do a lot more. This season I really want to kick on, for myself, then push on for other things like cups.

“Of course, the World Cup is a target. I’ve said it before, I want to be there so I’m going to do my best to do that. Hopefully, Champions League exposure will help a little bit with that as long as I do my best there, hopefully I’ve got a good chance.”

The fact Celtic have put O’Riley up for media duties following this week’s speculation sends its own message, never mind what the midfielder actually says here.

He sounds happy and content at the Bhoys, ready to take his game to the next level on the biggest stage of them all.

His Denmark emergence has been a pleasing subplot to his Celtic move, having first received a call up to their U21 side following his switch from MK Dons.

Impressing for that group during the summer and even getting training time in with the senior squad, as O’Riley says, his chances of being on the plane to Qatar are decent if he can string together impressive European performances.

Given he has only been at the Bhoys for six months, it’s far too early to entertain the notion of O’Riley leaving, as much as he might have new admirers down south.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou delivers Friday Celtic transfer update; more business to be done.