All together now Oh Riley McGree, I long to see…

Celtic are currently being linked with a multitude of players in the January transfer window and some will no doubt be agents pushing players or historical links resurfacing as fresh news.

However, in the case of 23-year-old Aussie playmaker Riley McGree there may be something in this one. Conall McGinty has already outlined the current situation with conflicting reports linking the player to Celtic, Middlesbrough and indeed a return to Birmingham where the Australian international has just ended a loan spell at English Championship side Birmingham City where he made 30 appearances and scored three goals, and was expected to return to parent club, MLS franchise side Charlotte FC.

READ THIS…Celtic closing in on Australian International Riley McGree amid stiff Championship competition

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 16: Riley McGree of Australia is challenged by Xinghan Wu during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier final round Group B match between China and Australia at Sharjah Stadium on November 16, 2021 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

There does seem to be plenty of confidence in the way the story in the Daily Mail has been written this morning strongly linking Riley McGree with a move to Celtic.

There is certainly merit in this one as Ange Postecoglou gave the player his first Australian cap when Socceroos’ head coach, and Celtic are very much still on the lookout for an attacking midfielder to supplement Reo Hatate, Tom Rogic and the injured David Turnbull.

And if the comments of his former Birmingham teammate George Friend are anything to go by, he’s clearly a player his peers rate highly: “He has been great. He’s a very good player. ‘He has had a really tough time here because under Aitor Karanka he just didn’t play, even though every day in training he was arguably the best player.

“He has waited and he has got a great temperament and personality – and most of all he is a talented footballer, so I hope he can stay on some level.”

HULL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Riley Mcgree of Birmingham City urges the away supporters to stop throwing bottles onto the pitch during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Birmingham City at MKM Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Hull, England. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

It’s no surprise a talented playmaker struggled for playing time under Aitor Karanka, a coach who makes Sam Allarydyce look as adventurous as Jurgen Klopp, so it is far from a criticism of the left footed central midfielder with six caps for Australia, not to have played much during the Spaniard’s tenure, nor is it a shock Birmingham City haven’t yet made their own move, as Lee Bowyer’s side are very much a team under huge financial pressures.

As such Riley McGree is clearly a player Ange Postecoglou rated enough so as to include him in his plans for the Australian national team. McGree is also one who is unlikely to cost an astronomical fee coming from Charlotte FC in the MLS, and he is a player who could hit the ground running having played regularly in the English Championship.

And with McGree being a player who operates in a position Ange will be keen to strengthen, and is already be aware of the demands the manager makes, there is a lot of positives to consider in this particular link and a lot of promise too.

This particular transfer rumour is well worth keeping an eye on.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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