"With reluctance"; MK Dons react to Matt O'Riley sale to Celtic; confirm Bhoys used clause

By John McGinley

January 21, 2022

MK Dons have released a statement on the Matt O’Riley transfer to Celtic this week, admitting they would prefer to have kept hold of the midfield talent.

O’Riley has signed for the Bhoys until 2026 after being convinced of a move to Glasgow by manager Ange Postecoglou.

Before those discussions took place, Celtic activated a minimum sale release clause in his MK Dons contract, a situation that the English League One club have now confirmed in the statement on their website.

Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting also told mkdons.com: “It is with reluctance that we say goodbye to Matt, who has been a terrific performer for us since joining the club last January.

“Matt took a gamble by agreeing to come to MK Dons – a move that demonstrates the bravery and character of a player who will undoubtedly enjoy a long and successful career at the top.

“We have always been aware of Matt’s desire to return to a higher level which is why there was a release clause in place in the contract he signed with us – one that suited both parties in terms of the opportunity to progress and the financial reward for us, both in the short term and long term.

“Celtic have secured another bargain here” | Matt O’Riley insight with Cai Jones

“Celtic have secured another bargain here” | Matt O’Riley insight with Cai Jones
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“That said, from the moment Matt arrived, he has been committed and dedicated to the cause and has certainly helped to leave the club in a better place than when we arrived. For that, we say thank you and we wish him nothing but success moving forwards – he will always be welcomed back at Stadium MK.”

The fee has been reported to be £1.5m, something of a bargain to a club like Celtic. [The Daily Mail]

That’s especially true for a player who seems to be admired by anyone he’s ever worked with, as well as a number of big clubs, as we discussed this morning.

With goalscoring and creative form in League One already this season, it’ll be fascinating to see how he adjusts to life in the Scottish Premiership, as part of an exciting, ultra-attacking side.

Hopefully, the Dons’ prediction of him going to the very top comes true.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou delivers update on last 10 days of Celtic transfer window after O’Riley deal.