Report: The incredible list of clubs Celtic beat for Matt O'Riley signature

By Euan Davidson

January 21, 2022

We knew there was significant interest in new Celtic signing Matt O’Riley; especially with West Bromwich Albion trying to steal him away late on.

However, a report from the Athletic has listed the full cohort of clubs that were interested in the former Fulham man. Additionally, it claims that Ange Postecoglou was encouraged to do his own research on the Englishman, and came back “effusive”.

The report states that in Europe, Bordeaux, Royal Antwerp and PSV Eindhoven all made enquiries. So too did Serie A trio Venezia, Sassuolo and Torino. Burnley and Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United also “considered” a move for O’Riley. Liverpool, according to the Athletic, saw O’Riley’s name continually pop up in scouting reports.

Photo by John Cripps/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Yes – after the drama over Ben Davies last season [Sun], Liverpool were amongst the list of names who could’ve snaffled another EFL talent away from Celtic.

Of course, Swansea, managed by Russell Martin, and Blackburn Rovers’ interest was well-known.

However, as we reported last night, Ange Postecoglou made a specific pitch to the former England youth international. And now, he’s donned the Green and White of Celtic, and could eve feature against Alloa Athletic on Saturday evening.

It’s another exciting signing by Ange Postecoglou, with both Hatate and O’Riley primed to make creative interventions for Celtic between Callum McGregor and either Tom Rogic or David Turnbull. The midfield is now full of energy, passing range and dynamism.

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Personal touch of Ange Postecoglou sees Celtic beat a range of top clubs for Matt O’Riley

Given he was playing in League One, and very obviously performing at a higher standard, he was going to end up somewhere different this month.

That it’s Celtic, considering the quality of other clubs that were in for him, is a statement. Again, the Hoops are players in the transfer market. Not through inordinate wealth, though; just through skilful negotiation, jumping on the right opportunities and an Ange Postecoglou sales pitch.

We can imagine how persuasive the Greek-Aussie boss can be. Even his press conferences can be enough for Celtic supporters to feel as if they’re ready to play for him there and then. So, when he’s after a transfer target and he’s laser-focused, it’s got to be hard for players to turn down.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

O’Riley, of course, couldn’t. And if Celtic ended their transfer window dealings today, we’d likely all be satisfied. Arguably the weakest area of our side, in terms of depth, has been massively boosted. The departures of Olivier Ntcham and Ryan Christie hadn’t really been addressed up to now.

These are good times for Celtic fans. Now, attention turns to Alloa Athletic, and Ange Postecoglou’s selection for the second game after the winter break.

It could be a very interesting debut for the Englishman.

Read more: Celtic summer signing delighted with Hoops depth; speaks on Jullien return