Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is interesting two English clubs, according to a report.
Sky Sports say that the Danish youth international has caught the attention of both Leeds United and Southampton with approaches possible in the final days of the window. (29 August live transfer blog, 6:45pm)
The actual wording from Sky is that Leeds want to sign O’Riley before Friday’s deadline, while Southampton could make an approach too.
What makes the latter’s interest more credible, and worthy of being taken seriously, is that the St. Mary’s side are currently managed by Russell Martin.
The former Scotland international was O’Riley’s boss at MK Dons. He oversaw the midfielder’s rise in the game with the move to Celtic arriving months after Martin has left to become Swansea City manager.
The pair have spoken openly about each other since O’Riley’s arrival in Scotland and it’s fair to say that there’s a fair amount of respect there. Whether that’s enough for O’Riley to depart the Champions League for the Championship, we’ll have to wait and see.
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Celtic certainly don’t want to lose the midfielder. They made that clear last week after a surprise bid from Serie A side Bologna for the 22-year-old.
Football Scotland report that we are unwilling to sell O’Riley with Champions League football just around the corner. Both Southampton and Leeds are said to have been “met with a hands-off warning”.
At 22, O’Riley is a top talent still in his early days. He still has three years to run on his contract and is surely only likely to be worth more next summer if he has a big year.
The outlet also say that the midfielder is now managed by his father Dom after changing representation earlier this year.
Celtic simply can’t afford to lose another key star in the closing days of the window. If we do, it won’t go down well with an already disgruntled fan base.