The Kieran Tierney and Jota transfers to Arsenal and Al-Ittihad respectively brought in a cool £50m in transfer fees to Celtic, although it should be noted that Benfica got a decent slice of the Jota money from Saudi Arabian club as per their 30% sell-on clause in the deal that brought our ‘Superstar from Portugal’ to Glasgow in the first place.
Celtic this season has done some superb work extending the contracts of key players and in particular the ones that could attract interest in the transfer market including the likes of Kyogo, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley.
The latter two are the most recent to put pen to paper on new deals and are also perhaps the most likely to attract big money bids over the next few transfer windows. You have to feel for Reo Hatate who is absolutely focused on making his mark in the Champions League and having recovered from an early season injury then working his way back into top form, he lasted just a few minutes in the match last night against Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park before having to go off with what looks almost certain to be a hamstring injury.
That injury should keep him sidelined for the return match in the double header in Madrid and frustrate the midfielder’s ambition to showcase his talents at the highest level in club football.
For Matt O’Riley the situation is somewhat different and all of European football would have sat up to take notice of that wonderful opening goal last night by Kyogo, which of course had a sensational assist from O’Riley. It’s doubtful that this goal will be bettered in the any Champions League match in this round of fixtures.
Now Fabrizio Romano has taken a particular interest in the talent Celtic midfielder who is in the form of his life and was named as Man of the Match last night. And the transfer expert has a warning for any clubs sniffing around Celtic for a bargain buy – that is simply not going to happen with O’Riley’s worth and valuation already outstripping the £25m that Celtic received from both the KT and Jota sales.
“Celtic gem Matt O’Riley, MOTM on Wednesday; having a great season with 6 goals, 4 assists as CM. He also got Denmark National Team call up.
“Celtic, in a strong position as they just renewed his contract one month ago — it’d be a Scottish record transfer fee for any club interested,” Fabrizio Romano noted.
The truth is the sky is the limit for O’Riley, a £1.5m signing from MK Dons in January 2022. He is on the form of his life at Celtic this season and at the weekend Chris Sutton described him as the best player in the Scottish Premiership after his brilliant goal against Hearts.
We should enjoy him while he’s here but it’s not going to be long before big offers come Celtic’s way and when that goes beyond £30million then we all know how that’s going to end.
🟢✨ Celtic gem Matt O’Riley, MOTM on Wednesday; having a great season with 6 goals, 4 assists as CM.
He also got Denmark NT call up 🇩🇰
Celtic, in a strong position as they just renewed his contract one month ago — it’d be a Scottish record transfer fee for any club interested. pic.twitter.com/qiwfKw0PJb
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 26, 2023