Report: The Ange Postecoglou intervention that led to Matt O'Riley Celtic medical

By David Walton

January 19, 2022

A personal intervention from Ange Postecoglou led to Matt O’Riley snubbing interested parties in favour of a Celtic medical, the Daily Mail reports.

The newspaper claims that O’Riley had interest in him from Swansea and Blackburn. However, a lengthy chat with the Hoops boss about his plans for the future is said to have swayed the Englishman towards a move to Parkhead.

The Mail reports that Celtic are close to sealing a £1.5m deal for the midfielder. O’Riley is said to be heading to Scotland for a medical.

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

It’s also been stated by the Mail that the deal could be done in time for Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie at Alloa. It remains to be seen if O’Riley would be involved should the move be finalised.

The potential deal comes a week after Celtic lost out on Riley McGree to Middlesbrough in a disappointing saga.

If O’Riley signs, he’ll be the fifth January signing made by Postecoglou. Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi, and Johnny Kenny have all come in the door this year.

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Matt O’Riley close to a done deal – what does it mean for Celtic midfield?

So it appears as though O’Riley is just about in the door. Granted, we heard the same when it came to McGree last week. That didn’t come to fruition in what was a reminder that a deal isn’t done until the announcement becomes official.

What does appear to be clear, however, is the idea that Ange is still in the market for one more midfielder. That’s a touch surprising considering the strength we already have in the middle of the park. Hatate and Ideguchi also add to that with their January arrivals.

The game-time on offer to O’Riley will be interesting, especially when you take that strength in depth into consideration. Only Ange will know the plans he has in store for him, but this certainly looks like a direct replacement for the failure to nab McGree.

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

It also remains to be seen if this is the final act of Celtic’s transfer work. It did look as though Postecoglou was satisfied with his work last week, but the O’Riley news is certainly coming out of the blue.

With the squad getting itself back to full strength after a plethora of injuries, we’re now starting to see the true nature of just how quality-packed we are. The first-team squad for Monday night’s 2-0 win over Hibernian symbolised that more than anything.

So it’ll be interesting to see what Celtic try and pull off in the second half of the window. Hopefully, O’Riley’s arrival will be a part of that.

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