"I'm disappointed"; Swansea boss admits defeat as Celtic close in on O'Riley

By John McGinley

January 20, 2022

Swansea City manager Russell Martin has admitted his club have lost the race to sign Matt O’Riley as he checks in to sign for Celtic.

The Bhoys are expected to announce his signature imminently after he was reported to have passed his medical this morning and was pictured entering Celtic Park.

Martin is a big admirer of the attacking midfielder and didn’t shy away from his disappointment that the player won’t be joining him in Wales.

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

However, he also congratulated the player for securing a move to Celtic, telling Wales Online: “I love Matt. I congratulated him, it’s a fantastic move to a huge football club.

“I’m disappointed we don’t get the chance to work with him again but I’m delighted for him. It’s another player MK have done brilliantly out of financially. He’s got a fantastic move all because of the style of play. He saw the big picture and so did his agent at the time.

“I’ve been aware all of the way through, we have to raise money to make signings. It’s been clear since the summer. We’re not swimming in the same pond that we were, parachute payments have gone. Someone’s been able to raise the finance. He was a target for us, of course.

Celtic 2-0 Hibernian | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 Hibernian | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“He fits the profile and a player we’ve worked with. But there were other clubs looking at him as well. I don’t feel let down or angry, it’s where we are at. I’m comfortable with that. The business we’ve done I think is fantastic.”

As we await an official update from Celtic, it’s pleasing to hear that O’Riley is valued so much by another manager and club.

O’Riley looks to be very much in the Ryan Christie mould of a mobile central midfielder who can add real energy and attacking output to our final third.

Complementing Reo Hatate, David Turnbull and Tom Rogic, hopefully he can hit the ground running in Glasgow under Ange Postecoglou.

In other news, Celtic’s Starfelt expertly bats down stumbling rivals question; also fields bizarre ‘cup upset’ query.