Daily Record’s Celtic claim premature as Middlesbrough refuse to give up on Riley McGree

Reach newspaper/website Daily Record told us earlier this week that Celtic’s deal to sign Riley McGree was completed and that the Australian international midfielder would therefore be Ange Postecoglou fifth signing of the January transfer window. We therefore all expected confirmation to come pretty quickly from Celtic but there’s been nothing so far.

Last night the Reach website Football Scotland reported on a last minute hitch to the deal that would make Riley McGree a Celtic player as Middlesbrough – who we told you at the weekend were very keen on the Charlotte FC player who recently completed a very successful loan period with Birmingham City (they didn’t have the funds to sign him apparently).

 Riley Mcgree of Australia warms up with team mates before during the FIFA World Cup AFC Asian Qualifier match between the Australia Socceroos and Saudi Arabia at CommBank Stadium on November 11, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The English media at the weekend seemed to believe Middlesbrough were in the driving seat but Celtic’s interest, backed by the personal intervention of former Australian National team manager Ange Postecoglou – who gave McCree his first cap – seemed to swing the deal in Celtic’s favour and an agreement had been reached with Charlotte FC with personal terms with the player being discussed.

Middlesbrough though according to Stephen McGowan in Scottish Daily Mail have come back at the eleventh hour and seem to be offering more money than Celtic to both the player and the club, who having accepted a lower offer for the player from Celtic are obviously also going to accept a higher offer from the desperate English Championship side.

Thereafter it is going to come down to the player. Does he want to join what Ange Postecoglou is building at Celtic or is the opportunity to make more money at Middlesbrough – reported at £14k a week – going to swing the player towards a move to the North East of England rather than the East End of Glasgow?

Riley McGree of Australia in action during an Australian Socceroos training session on May 27, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Have there been assurances from Middlesbrough on first team football than Celtic simply can’t give? Who knows.

There were even rumours of a medical taking place today in Middlesbrough but that seems unlikely at the moment at least. And Football Scotland thereafter backtracked from swinging towards Middlesbrough now winning this race to give Celtic fans reading their output slightly more hope than was the case earlier in the evening.

Here’s what Stephen McGowan reported late last night on Scottish Daily Mail

Sportsmail first reported a Parkhead move for the 23-year-old, with a deal worth £3million plus add-ons has been agreed with MLS expansion franchise Charlotte FC.

With an agreement on personal terms all but done, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou hoped to tie up a deal this week.

Desperate to secure promotion to the English Premier League, however, Boro have now countered with a bid worth £2m more – including add ons – and improved wages understood to be around £14,000 a week.

A fans’ favourite at Birmingham, the Socceroos international made 30 appearances and scored three goals prior to his loan period finishing at the end of December.

Capped seven times, countryman Postecoglu was the first to draft the playmaker into the national team set-up and took a hands-on role in persuading him to consider a move to Glasgow.

Here’s McGree speaking to Birmingham City TV saying “England is where you want to play”…

And for those who missed this one on The Celtic Star, here’s a catch-up chance to check out the photographs given to this site by the former Celtic Director Tom Grant of the demolition of the old Celtic Park and in its place the emergence of the New Celtic Park which we know and love today. These photographs are fascinating and well worth checking out on the link below…

READ THIS…Exclusive – A Phoenix Rising, a House of Steel. Celtic Park Redevelopment Photographs

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. robert mclaughlin on

    no deal is ever done till the player signs everyone remembers mo ( traitor } johnston who said yes to signing for us a 2nd time then agent sold him for more money to huns….scum!