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European side test Celtic with late bid for 22-year-old star

Celtic are reported to have rejected a bid from Bologna to sign Matt O’Riley.

After losing Jota, Aaron Mooy and Carl Starfelt the last thing that Brendan Rodgers needs is the departure of another key member of last season’s Treble winning squad.

Last season O’Riley started 41 matches and made 11 appearances off the bench, starting all six of Celtic’s Champions Leagues ties at the age of 21.

As well as ability O’Riley has priceless experience for his age with no settling in period required as he switched from playing in League One for MK Dons to the demands of a title race at Celtic overnight.

It is hardly a surprise that there is transfer interest in O’Riley but the last week of the transfer window is the last time that Celtic need to be taking on further upheaval.

The Sun reports:

CELTIC have booted out a bid from Bologna for Matt O’Riley.

The Hoops midfielder is under contract at Parkhead until 2026 — but SunSport understands that hasn’t put off the Serie A side.

Sources in the Italian city claim they have slapped in an offer for O’Riley in recent days but it was quickly dismissed by Celts chiefs.

Bologna — bossed by ex-Barcelona ace Thiago Motta — are now deciding whether to return to the table with a higher figure.

They have a track record of taking prized assets from Scotland after landing Aaron Hickey and Lewis Ferguson in the past.

But Bologna are also aware they aren’t the only side weighing up a swoop for former Fulham kid O’Riley, 22.

Bologna seem to have a very strong Scottish scout with Hickey sold on to Brentford for a £15m profit after 47 matches in Serie A. Hickey left Celtic in the summer of 2018 to rejoin Hearts where his career went from strength to strength.

Having arrived from MK Dons it is unlikely that O’Riley will be anywhere near to the top earners at Celtic, a situation that Liel Abada and Reo Hatate are also in, while contracted until 2026.

All three players deserve significant pay rises but with players tending to stay around for two or three seasons it is difficult to see O’Riley or others committing themselves even longer unless a get out fee of say £20m is included.

It will require some imaginative thinking to keep the best players at Celtic for more than two seasons, as this summer has demonstrated when someone like Jota leaves there is no well scouted ready made replacement ready to move in.

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1 Comment

  • by KC67
    Posted August 25, 2023 6:05 pm 0Likes

    I would suspect the board rejected the offer because it wasn’t high enough. If the Italians come in with another offer theyll be tempted. If Hatate wasn’t injured I would suspect he would have been for the off on Thursday. Sold before they could get someone in to replace him – that old chestnut.

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