Matt O’Riley leaving is inevitable, Celtic recruitment plans need to be ambitious

It’s inevitable that Matt O’Riley will leave Celtic this summer. The club has just got to make sure that they replace him with a player of similar quality…

Matt O’Riley of Celtic controls the ball during the Celtic vs St Mirren Cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park on May 20, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s no surprise to learn that Matt O’Riley is attracting attention from clubs down south and further afield around Europe as he’s such a talented player.

Fresh on from winning the young player and senior player of the year accolades at Sunday night’s Celtic Player of the Year awards in the Hydro, it’s been reported that Matt is being heavily pursued by two top six EPL sides, as well as Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

An £18m bid was knocked back from Atletico back in January and the La Liga side still remain keen on the midfielder’s signature this coming summer.

But Diego Simone’s side like every other interested party will have to stump up a hefty sum to secure the Denmark international’s signature.

We are talking in the £25-£30 million bracket, nothing less will suffice if Matt is to leave Celtic Park. The club after all hold all the aces as Matt just recently signed a contract extension, so if they accepted anything less it would be sheer incompetence. That’s not going to happen though as Celtic may well reach a £30m transfer fee for the first time.

Matt O’Riley  with the PlayStation Player Of The Match award after the draw in the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park on October 25, 2023. (Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

When Matt inevitably does leave the club, any fee must be used to heavily invest in a player or a similar quality. If that’s going to cost us between £8 -£12 million then so be it.

No ‘bargain buys’ or ‘project’ players are going to cut it. We have the means and it’s time we used them if we want to be successful. We’ve got to replace like with like.

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Celtic, waves to fans as he steps off the coach prior to the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And the board owe it to Brendan Rodgers to back him in the transfer market this summer after he patently worked with their project signing signing from last summer but not a single one made the grade for an involvement at the weekend against theRangers.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

3 Comments

  1. Tony Fruk from Rijeka would be a good signing. Fits the clubs business model too. Guy looks a classy player similar to O’Riley. 3 goals and 14 assists in the Croatian league this season which is arguably a better standard than our league.

  2. Would agree that trying to keep hold of Oreily for next season, could be a long shot imo?
    What is also potentially in the equation is about 10 players who are also under contract and don’t seem to be in the plans of Rodgers for next season already?
    So still a potential hefty sum that could be bought in on player sales and that’s without any potential fee for Oreily?
    Would like to think that the renewed and improved contracts handed out to our more senior and established players last summer?
    Now has us in a position where the wage structure has expanded to allow ourselves to be competing for the player’s in the higher fee bracket, especially as there should be plenty of available room within the wage structure to accommodate the higher earning players which there fees would demand?
    We have to be looking at closing the gap in quality between 1st and 2nd choice player’s in positions also?
    Having a Hart then Bain situation in the keepers position is way to big in the terms of quality for the position?
    Where we should be looking at having a situation like an AJ and ralston in the RB position?
    Would like to think that would be the aim of Rodgers for next season imo?
    We seen throughout the course of this season that squad depth is becoming more of a factor within todays game and the 5 sub rule in play?
    The transition of Rodgers taking over from Ange didn’t go as smoothly as I was expecting, and far more work was required than many were expecting including myself, to get the overall look of the squad up to where Rodgers would like it to be imo?
    So would be expecting the biggest ever summer spend from the club, especially with funds available?
    Still think that the overall structure of the squad and wage bracket in place, potentially has ourselves in a much stronger position than where we were this time a year ago imo?
    So overall looking forward to the summer spending, especially as I think we could well be entering into how the club could have been operating years ago, but suppose getting to such a position late, is better than never getting there whatsoever imo?

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