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‘Currently settled’ Scott Burns gives update on in demand Celtic midfielder

Scott Burns of the Daily Record is reporting that Matt O’Riley is happy at Celtic with the club having no intention of selling the midfielder.

An offer of over £25m could certainly change that situation but with UEFA Financial Sustainability rules in place it seems that most clubs maxed out in the summer with little room to go big in the January window.

At the end of September O’Riley signed an improved deal committing him to Celtic until 2027 but those sort of deals tend to be as much about protecting transfer values as a realistic prospect of keeping a player through his peak years.

The January 2022 deal to sign the midfielder from MK Dons was an inspired piece of business, a week after signing a breathless O’Riley was being interviewed by Sky Sports following his debut in a 2-1 win away to Hearts at Tynecastle.

Alongside Reo Hatate the arrival of O’Riley gave Celtic’s title hopes a major boost with Ange Postecoglou’s side powering their way through to clinch the title in style.

This season the midfielder has been Celtic’s stand out player, netting nine goals from the centre of the park with a second Champions League campaign on his CV as well as a full debut for Denmark with a place in their European Championship squad a massive goal for 2024.

That form doesn’t go unnoticed elsewhere, on Friday Sky Sports reported on interest from Inter Milan with the Daily Record‘s transfer specialist Burns reporting:

Inter Milan will be given short shrift if they firm up their interest in Celtic star Matt O’Riley.

It was revealed at the end of last week that the Serie A leaders had the Hoops midfielder high on their January radar. The Italian giant is considering making a move that would be a loan for the season with an eight figure obligation to buy in the summer. Celtic aren’t actively looking to sell and recently signed up the Danish international on a new long-term contract.

Record Sport also understand that although O’Riley is aware of the interest he is currently settled and happy to remain at Celtic Park. The Celtic board are also more interested in strengthening their squad than selling their prize assets. The Hoops are currently in a title fight with Rangers and they are looking to keep Brendan Rodgers’ side clear at the top of the Premiership.

Burns has a decent track record on transfers at all clubs, when he puts his name to a report there are grounds to believe that there is substance to his claims. A loan to buy option, as suggested by the Sky Sports report shouldn’t be considered but indicates the calibre of clubs paying attention.

Celtic without O’Riley isn’t really something that Brendan Rodgers wants to contemplate as he tries to put his stamp on the squad with little input from the seven summer signings and two loanees.

Finding a few more signings of the quality of the January 2022 window is the benchmark for the Celtic recruitment team. On December 31 Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi were announced, topped up halfway through January by O’Riley after a move for Riley McCree fell through.

Ideguchi is expected to return to the J-League in the next couple of days but a 75% success rate in the transfer window is a strike rate for every club to aspire to, especially with a total spend of around £5m.

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