A “wonderful” Celtic player could be allowed to leave the club for £25m this summer, according to an update from Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph.
Celtic transfer news
The Hoops continue to be linked with new signings, even though they will now have to wait until the summer transfer window, unless they target free agents.
One player who does fall into that bracket is Dwight Gayle, who is available on a free transfer after leaving Stoke City on deadline day, and he has been backed to bolster Celtic’s Scottish Premiership title push. Paris Saint-Germain Layvin Kurzawa was also seen as a late target, with Brendan Rodgers potentially deciding that he wants to bring in another left-back.
Meanwhile, a new report has suggested that Celtic hero James Forrest‘s time at the club could come to an end in the new few months, with a move to the MLS mooted before their transfer window closes in April. He isn’t the only player who could move on in the near future, though, according to a new claim.
New update on Matt O’Riley’s Celtic future
Speaking on The Celtic Exchange Podcast [via The Boot Room], Joseph said that Celtic star Matt O’Riley could leave Parkhead this summer if a £25m offer arrives for him.
“I thought Celtic would be tested for Matt O’Riley. That happened. Very much tested. This, for me, showed strong resilience from the club. They were always in a strong position to keep him in this window. Having just signed a bumper new four-year contract.
“And then Athletico Madrid came in with that loan bid with an obligation to buy for around £20 million. Double what Leeds United were offering in the summer. Celtic value him a lot higher than that, and they’d be seeking a record fee I’m told. So you’re talking ballpark at least a starting point of £25m to £30m.
“They insisted he was not for sale in this window there are very strong with that. My understanding is that he was happy to stay. My understanding is Celtic are not going to stand in his way of him joining an elite club if the right offer comes in. They just weren’t prepared to sell in this window.”
There does feel like an inevitability about O’Riley leaving Celtic sooner rather than later, having developed into arguably their best player currently, registering 17 goal contributions (10 goals and seven assists) in 23 Scottish Premiership appearances this season. Rodgers has also lauded his ability in the recent past, saying:
“He is a wonderful footballer and he is ambitious and he wants to be better and improve and I am really pleased for him and that was a good run into the box and finish from him.”
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Rodgers could take advantage of the free agent market.
Ideally, O’Riley would stay at Celtic for many years to come, but the lure of moving to the Premier League could be great. Should he leave, it is vital that the Hoops receive as much money as possible for him, allowing Rodgers to find an excellent replacement.