“They won’t be going, it’s as simple as that,” Rodgers rules out January sales

Brendan flexing his muscles regarding Matt O’Riley speculation, let’s hope the board agree…

Brendan Rodgers today spoke of the speculation surrounding Matt O’Rileys future after yesterday’s bid by Atletico Madrid. The Irishman made it clear Matt is a player he doesn’t want to lose, and that under no circumstances is he available for sale this window.

That’s what we all wanted to hear after yesterday’s approach by Atletico. Brendan, just like the entire Celtic support, doesn’t want to lose any of our most important players at any time, never mind this far into the transfer window and at this time of the season.

We have a title to win and need players like Matt at the club to achieve that goal. Brendan more than most knows just how important it is to have the strongest squad available going into the second half of the campaign. If he’s to be successful in his aim to win the Scottish Premiership he needs the tools to do the job. Selling one of our most prized assets would be a huge setback in his plans to successfully defend the title.

Peter Lawwell, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Nicholson (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Let’s hope the Celtic board agree with Brendan and rebuff any offers for players like Matt no matter the price. It appears that the Atletico Madrid offer was well below Celtic’s valuation, but we also learnt today that English Premier League sides are looking at Matt O’Riley. Can we assume that even IF the club’s valuation is met at this stage, the club will still REJECT any and all offers.

If not we can assume a storm will be brewing over Celtic Park, especially after hearing Brendan’s re-assurances today that Matt O’Riley will NOT be sold in this window.  Here’s what Brendan said at his media conference:

“There was (an offer) but Matt is a player we don’t want to lose and he won’t be going anywhere in January. It’s a great testament to him and what the club can do for a player. He won his first international cap this season and Atletico Madrid are a big club in European football.

Celtic v Atletico Madrid Champions League 25/10/2023. Matt O Riley during the Champions League match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park, on 25 October 2023. Photo Colin Poultney PSI

“But he is very much part of what we are doing. He has been a joy to work with and I had a good chat with Matt on Thursday morning and he is someone who will be here for us in the second part of the season,” the Celtic manager said. 

Brendan also confirmed that Atletico’s bid was “nowhere near” Celtic valuation of the player who was outstanding against the Spanish side in the 2-2 draw at Celtic Park in the Champions League.

He added: “He had an opportunity in the summer but he was very happy to extend here and obviously Atletico Madrid is a huge club but he also knows he is in a great place here. He has really kicked on this season and he wants to continue with that.”

Celtic v Atletico Madrid – Matt O Riley crosses the ball during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, on Wednesday October 25, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

When asked if it would take a special offer to persuade Celtic to sell any key players this month, Brendan Rodgers said:

 “They won’t be going, it’s as simple as that. January is a difficult month anyway, whether it’s bringing players in or looking to sell players. It’s not something we want to do. We have no interest in that.”

Listen to Brendan’s media conference below…


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.

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