“No need to sell and no thoughts of selling,” Rodgers shuts down O’Riley speculation

Brendan Rodgers today dampened down the transfer speculation surrounding Matt O’Riley which blew up last night with Sky Sports reporting on an imminent bid from Spanish side Girona – currently topping the table in La Liga.

Girona are owned by the City Group so funds would be available and there are reports of interest from Italy and England in the Denmark international midfielder who has been the outstanding player in Scottish football this season.

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)

As expected the Celtic manager was asked about the transfer speculation surrounding Matt O’Riley but had nothing to report on any interest and made the point forcefully at today’s Media Conference ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie against Highland League side Buckie Thistle, that Celtic had no interest in selling Matt O’Riley in this transfer window.

“The club is in a really strong position and we have no need to sell and no thoughts of selling,” Brendan said. “Naturally it is the time of the season where there is lots of speculation and gossip surrounding players.

“Matt is really, really happy here. He has signed a new deal and he has really progressed. He is into double figures with his goals and his assists are there.

Celtic’s Matt O’Riley and Lazio’s Elseid Hisaj vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Lazio at Celtic Park on October 4, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“For him, as a young player, who I know is a brilliant professional, all he wants to do is improve and you can see his improvement here just by taking things day by day and assessing it from there,” the Celtic manager added.

For his part Matt O’Riley has always spoken about ho much he enjoys playing for Celtic and while he appreciates that there is a next step ahead he’s in no immediate hurry to make that move. He’s also the type of player who will consider carefully his next choice of clubs, amid increasing interest in his services.

Celtic are likely to sell and achieve a record breaking transfer fee, probably around £30m for O’Riley but with that new contract already signed there is no immediate rush and it could be the summer after next before the player trading model is applicable to the former MK Dons performer.

Matt O’Riley of Milton Keynes Dons gestures during the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Milton Keynes Dons at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on March 02, 2021 (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Meanwhile we should enjoy him while we can. Here’s Brendan Rodgers explaining the club’s position on Matt O’Riley in the January transfer window…

And here’s the full media conference from Lennoxtown…

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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

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