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Leeds Offer For Celtic’s Midfield Battler Was An Insult. Now He’s Set For A New Deal.

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A few days before the window closed I wrote a piece about the possibility of the club selling Matt O’Riley, in which I said that they could not possibly do it and justify it either to the fans or to the manager as something that had to happen.

Matt is too valuable to the team and is one of the players who has, without a doubt, bought into the manager’s plans.

It is clear that Brendan Rodgers thinks O’Riley has a positive impact on the club. And it’s equally clear that O’Riley believes he has a future role here. You only had to listen to the player talking about the difference in cultures between Ange and Brendan to understand that he was much more relaxed and felt much more invested in the project than he was before.

This is not to say that Ange was wrong and Brendan is right; it merely acknowledges that things are different now and that certain players prefer it this way and Matt O’Riley is one of them.

There was a certain inevitability about someone putting an offer in, whether you thought Celtic would accept it or not, but the one that did come in, from Leeds, was so low-ball and insulting I wonder how anyone could have believed we’d find it acceptable?

So why did Leeds feel that they could get away with that?

I keep on thinking about Ange Postecoglou towards the end of last season telling us that players would be leaving. Was he talking about Matt? Was he talking about the likes of Abada and Hatate, players who had perhaps made their minds up to pursue their options elsewhere? And if so, what exactly has changed except that Ange is no longer here?

It there was some suggestion, prior to this window, that O’Riley and other players were open to offers it is clear that this is no longer the case and that Rodgers has done what Rodgers always does. He’s made the players who are here want to stay.

For all that, it is impossible to see Leeds offer as something other than an insult.

It’s impossible to see it as anything other than a calculated attempt to unsettle the player, in the hope that they could land him on the cheap. Having pulled Glen Kamara from Ibrox for a substantially lower fee than what the Ibrox club was holding out for, they arrogantly believed they could do the same at Celtic Park, where we had no need to sell, and where the manager was determined to hang onto our good players.

I thought Leeds had a damn cheek.

Today we’ve read that Matt will be offered a new deal and it’s a deal I think he’s almost certain to sign.

Leeds are now out of the picture and out of the running, and so are all those other clubs south of the border who may have assumed that Matt would be there for the taking whenever they decided to make their move.

If we can now complete the renegotiation of Reo Hatate’s deal, it will represent one of the best summers in terms of retaining our best players that most of us can remember in a long time.

I hope – as I’m sure we all do – that Matt signs the new deal.

Not only is it great business for the club, but it’s one in the eye for every single deadbeat hack who though that at the merest hint of interest from England that our top players would all flock for the exit door.

It’ll also send a message to those south of the border clubs that they can no longer just presume to take our best players, and especially not for the kind of sums that would not buy a benchwarmer in their over-bloated, over-priced, lunatic league.

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  • Tony B says:

    Leeds, The Damned United, forever cursed and rightly so by the great Brian Clough.

    A real no mark outfit, and their derisory offer for Matt was treated with the contempt it assuredly deserved.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Perhaps Leeds were influenced by getting Kamara on the cheap. Some lazy thinking by people who regard us as equal to them. A quick look at the bank balances of both clubs would show which club was desperate to sell and which club would sell only on their (our) terms. We are often talked about in the same breath even although we are nothing like them. It is a sad reflection on the due diligence of Leeds Utd. If you want to succeed in business, knowledge is power. Leeds were ignorant. They hadn’t a clue. Will they ever learn?

  • Scud Missile says:

    Do we know what the embarrassing low figure that was offered for him.
    The figure of £5.5 million given to sevco for Kamara was obviously BIG DONALD classic FAKE NEWS,we then hear that it was for an undisclosed fee which in real terms means a nickel&dime fee for a nickel&dime player.
    Had sevco got that £5.5 million they would be standing there showing off the cheque.

  • eamonn brady says:

    Couldn’t agree more. And the loony English Premier league is about to be outloonied by the saudi League of hundreds of millions for players of 30 yrs plus. A dose of their own medicine and something somewhere will go bang.

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James it doesn’t matter if any of OUR players signs a 5,10 of 15 year deal this board would sell their granny if the cash is right ..

  • Johnno says:

    Don’t think I would class 10M as an insult myself James, more chancing there arm imo.
    A new contract remains a must and is showing the potential of becoming worth well more than 10M, especially after Sunday and how well he preformed within the derby.
    Looks like the club are extending the wage bracket, which I believed had to be done in order to give us more chance, of keeping hold of talent that’s required for European competition.
    We all know that teams within English football have the resources available to offer bigger wages on say a 4 year contract.
    Yet if a double your wages offer for 4 years doesn’t work out well, would that be a better move than staying with ourselves for potentially 10 years?
    Think the club have finally addressed this issue, and protected themselves in the process which allows bigger fees can be demanded if a player should want to move on.
    We were expecting the bigger signings to be made during the summer, but don’t think the wage structure was really in place for putting such a demand in place imo.
    We made massive mistakes in the 10iar season regarding contracts that had a massive impact within that season, still debatable as to weather done by mistake or deliberately?
    Regardless this board have remained cautious over the wage bill, little bit to cautious for my liking at present, but finally going in the right direction that should be to our huge advantage for the foreseeable also

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Leeds United are like Sevco – A new club !

    They went into liquidation in The 1920’s when they were Leeds City, then tried to buy over Huddersfield Town and rename them as Leeds City, but Huddy Town told them to Get to Fcuk and bust they went and had to come back as a tribute act called Leeds United !

    But at least they had to take a different name as liquidated clubs in England have to do –

    But just as I call the former Leeds City as what they are Leeds United, I’ll always call the former Glasgow Rangers as Sevco !

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