Arsenal transfer news: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers gives Gunners hope of signing Matt O’Riley

Martin Macdonald
Brendan Rodgers, Leicester, 2022/23
© ProShots

Celtic have rejected a bid from Atletico Madrid for star midfielder Matt O’Riley – and this is good news for Arsenal.

The Denmark international is one of the most in-demand players of this January transfer window but the Glasgow giants are standing firm in the face of increasing interest.

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Atletico are not the only overseas club to have an interest in the 23-year-old with LaLiga surprise package Girona, PSV and Inter Milan also thought to be keen.

Premier League sides are also monitoring the situation with Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Brighton and Aston Villa all thought to be keen. It was current Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou who brought O’Riley to Celtic from MK Dons in January 2022.

Arsenal are another club who have been urged to make a move for O’Riley, with the player emerging as a genuine replacement for Thomas Partey as SciSports data analysts suggest he would be a perfect fit for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Matt O'Riley, Celtic
© ProShots – Matt O’Riley, Celtic

It was reported by The Scotsman that Diego Simeone’s side intended to take O’Riley on an initial six-month loan deal with a view to a permanent deal being completed this summer.

Having signed a contract extension last September, which takes his terms at Parkhead through to 2027, it would require a record fee for suitors to dislodge O’Riley if and when the time comes to make a move.

Celtic to demand record fee for O’Riley

With Celtic’s transfer record standing at £25 million, the sum Al-Ittihad paid for Jota last summer, any deal for O’Riley would not come cheap.

Given that he signed for an initial £1.5m from MK Dons, it would represent a monumental profit for Celtic on their investment. It is believed the Bhoys turned down Leeds United’s £10m offer for O’Riley last summer.

He has been a standout for Celtic this season, scoring 10 times and assisting seven more in the Scottish Premiership across 21 appearances.

He has also been Celtic’s best player in the Champions League, where he impressed onlookers during a 2-2 draw against Atletico in the group stages.

“There was that but Matt is a player we don’t want to lose and he won’t be going anywhere in January,” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said of Atleti’s bid.

“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.

“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 this morning and he is someone who will be here for us in the second part of the season.”

O’Riley will again be a wanted man in the summer and Arsenal would do well to try to beat Atleti to the punch.

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