Staying at Celtic? “Yes, definitely,” Matt O’Riley’s answer on Leicester City link

It would take silly money for Celtic to even contemplate selling a top talent like Matt O’Riley and to do so now would hardly make good business sense. It’s true that the midfielder’s valuation will have soared after six months at Celtic where he played a significant role in the second half of last season in helping to deliver the title for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

Yet with the Champions League participation just around the corner – the draw will be made for the Group stages on 25 August – players like O’Riley have the chance to shine on the highest stage of club football and then there’s the added incentive of standing out in the Champions League leading on to a place in the Denmark squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Matt O’Riley of Celtic is congratulated by teammates Anthony Ralston and Liel Abada after scoring their team’s third goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on May 07, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

To follow that path, and O’Riley appears to have just what is required to succeed in these objectives, seems the sensible route for the player and indeed Celtic. O’Riley was an MK Dons player at Christmas, with the Champions League something he could watch on television and Denmark a place where he’d go his summer holidays to visit his grannie.

Since signing for Celtic he’s picked up a winners medal, been capped by the Danish Under 21s and has been linked with a move to Leicester City, a Premiership club on the way down after the incredible highs of a few years back.

Brendan Rodgers has been told he needs to sell before he can buy and his interest in O’Riley seems to indicate that he’s looking for bargains in the Scottish Premiership amid tightening budgets.

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City reacts prior to the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Leicester City at The Den on September 22, 2021 (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The one other consideration is Celtic’s position. Ange Postecoglou’s squad is soaring in player valuations – go through the team and think about how much Celtic paid for them and how much they’d likely sell for now. Then add in another season, Champions League and in some cases – O’Riley, Kyogo, Maeda, Juranovic etc – participation at the World Cup.

Valuations will increase further and that’s exactly why Celtic will be happy to sit back and let that happen.

Speaking to Danish media outlet Bold, the Celtic midfielder admitted that he was aware of the Leicester City interest but was fully focused on playing for Celtic and outlined many of the reasons why he’s going nowhere that we’ve mentioned above.

“I’ve heard a bit about the interest from Leicester, but it’s not something I’m thinking about right now. The transfer window is quite crazy with rumours and interest, but I am aware that Leicester quite like me,” O’Riley admitted to Bold.

Matt O’Riley in action for Celtic. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“Right now though, I think Celtic is a good place to be. I have good friends around me, my relationship with the coach is good, and the fans are very special. I feel that Celtic is the perfect place for me, but of course it’s great to have interest, because it means I’m playing well.

“I also think that it is good for Celtic, because it shows that we have some good players over here. It just means we have to keep playing the way we do.”

Asked if he reckoned he’d still be a Celtic player come the close of the transfer window O’Riley was clear in his response. “Yes, definitely. It is a huge club and now we have to play in the Champions League against a lot of big clubs. It’s a huge dream for me.”

This backs up the message on this from Ange Postecoglou who welcomed interest in his players – because it’s a sign that they are playing well and getting noticed – but confirmed that he’d heard nothing from Matt O’Riley that he’d be interested in leaving Celtic at this stage.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

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