The Media Seems Determined That Matt O’Riley Will Leave Celtic This Summer. But Will He?

Image for The Media Seems Determined That Matt O’Riley Will Leave Celtic This Summer. But Will He?

One of the stories which comes up over and over again, and which reared its head this week, was about Matt O’Riley and the possibility of him leaving Celtic this summer. I say “possibility” although the way the media talks about it, this is a certainty.

This week it was the turn of an ex-Ibrox player to give his approval to it; I mean, do we care? I’m sure their ex-pros would love to see us lose every one of our key players. But he is, after all, not the first person to make this assertion, and it makes a change from it being ex-Celts like Chris Sutton discussing it as if it’s a foregone conclusion.

The thing is, it isn’t. It’s possible, for sure, but there’s no certainty of it. Whenever O’Riley himself talks about this he speaks highly of the club and how much he enjoys being here. If we’re in the Groups of the Champions League there will be no need to sell anyone and the attraction of playing in that competition will be all the greater.

The interest for Atletico Madrid seems to have been real. But they might not necessarily be looking for his type of player in the summer. They may have other options, options they decided to explore in light of Celtic’s position on this.

They were not the only club who were interested, of course, but they were the only club which made a serious offer.

O’Riley has a contract until 2027. There is zero pressure on us to sell him. Zero.

He has not banged the drum to leave.

Let’s face it, if he was going to do that, he would have done it in January when the chance to go to Spain was there, especially as he knew it might not be when the summer months came around. In the interim his form has fallen off some, but not enough that any of us wouldn’t want to hang onto him for at least another year.

Celtic will definitely have a fee structure in mind beyond which we’d need to be realistic. But if Atletico aren’t playing the game who is going to offer that? A club in England might, but at that point the player’s own thoughts on it have to come in to play; will he want to go and play meaningless games in mid-table, or in a relegation dogfight?

He shows no signs of being possessed of an urge to get back down the road. Everyone talks about it as if it’s the be-all-and-end-all of football; that’ll be why their sole European representatives now are Aston Villa, in the third tier competition.

The interest from Atletico was a tribute to how well he was playing at the time. To get a move on that level, if they’ve moved on, he will have to give everything not only between now and the end of this campaign but into the next one. And that might be the way this works out.

It depends, of course, on what plans the manager has. If we get offered good enough and he has a plan for the money, then he might well sanction it personally. But a lot of water has to flow under this bridge for there to be a move; a club has to want him, Celtic has to be willing to take their offer, the player has to want it and the manager has to agree to it.

This is certainly not a foregone conclusion. There’s no real reason to believe that O’Riley will move, except everyone in the media seems to believe it.

But then they all believed Kyogo would go in the summer and he’s still here. We’d never have lost Abada but for the craziness on the other side of the world, and had the offer from Saudi not come in for Jota he would almost certainly still have been at Celtic Park.

They’d love to see what’s left of this team broken up. But that doesn’t mean it will be.

If Rodgers has won his internal battles, he will have plenty of targets in mind to make this team stronger. Win this title and there’ll be plenty of money to spend on them. At that point it’s up to him to sell his vision to everyone who is here. And then we’ll see who wants to stay.

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  • Bunter says:

    The media just love to try and unsettle our players. Talk of the EPL via the usual ‘unnamed sources’. They forget that being at Celtic is really special and if you do leave you’ll never get that again in your career. Cups, winners medals, league titles, champions league games, Glasgow derbies, worldwide fanbase and a damn good salary on top. Leaving Celtic unless you’re a Henrik, is pressing the down button on the football elevator.

  • Captain Swing says:

    At least interest in our players is real, not fantasy stories to fill the chip wrappers about Tavpen and the Golden Child going to join Mister Gerrard in Saudi or the equally fictitious interest in Alfredo Morelos from the entirely fictitious Chop Suey United FC of the Chinese Super Premier League, a club I just made up, much like Bisgrove does….

  • KC67 says:

    Only one man will decide whether he’ll leave or not – Lawwell. He’ll go and that will give Rodgers his summer budget plus a few million to join the tens of millions in the bulging bank account destined never to be spent.

    There will be no change of strategy, no extravagant spending, not as long as there’s dinosaurs roaming the corridors of Celtic Park.

    20 years of life in the slow lane with no end in sight.

    Desmond and Lawwell need to be forced out, otherwise nothing changes – ever.

  • Michael Clark says:

    O’Riley appears to be happy where he is and even if there weren’t Champions league football next season, I’m confident he’ll be a Celtic player. Jota’s leaving was out of our hands, even the money grabbing Celtic board couldn’t turn that offer down. Liel Abada would have still been a Celtic player too if it hadn’t been for some of us sticking noses in area’s that have nothing to do with football.

  • Brattbakk says:

    The fans didn’t harass the board at these games because it would’ve been detrimental to the team. No idea why you’re bothering with your play pal here.

    • John mcghee says:

      Well i would let him go and a few others in that team taylor.Yang.Scares.Johnstone aswell because this guy lets players run at him from there own half and Johnston runs backwards and before he reacts the player is in box and if Johnston makes contact then he’s giving the masonic fuckpigs cheats a decion his first season he was brilliant but he’s fell away that defence is a disgrace watching them ttrying to defence any high balls they crumble midfield is the same never at the right place the 3 of them and if you watch McGregor this guy diznae run into space he follows opposite player if you watch him right McGregor gets away with murder we definitely need strong players in midfield and big players at that our players are midgets thats why at corners we never score from our freekicks thay all run to the front post no body at the back thats why teams are scoring against us back post Tayour and Scares are never there surely BR sees all this he will need to buy players better thanwhat we have got as for sunday loyalist loyalist beaton is the ref da?las is on VAR now celtic will have to put this game to bed early because these 2 biased OB will try their best to take points off us and if its through they 2 officials i hope they 2 rats get bullied dirty cheats and fuck the sfa.spfl corrupt bastards

  • Crabbit auld man says:

    James, Don’t let McMonaghan get under your skin. With his venom and bile he can only be a bitter wee hun. He is probably a “well known member” from Follow Follow or Heart and Hand. Don’t give the bitter prick the oxygen he craves.

    • William Melvin says:

      Serious question,bud,who is this McMonaghan guy ?
      I’ve never heard the name associated with our club or players !

      • Crabbit auld man says:

        Some clown who posted insultingg posts overnight about James, they seem to have been deleted

  • Jimmy says:

    He has spoken of the Atletico interest James so in my humble opinion he is off. Nothing whatsoever to do with any posts in the media. He will go to a top league and I wish him nothing but the best. Great player and good human being.
    We will make plenty on our investment so everyone benefits.

  • Michael Rooney says:

    Would you even notice.hes a spfl level player who more often than not is posted missing during games

  • John Copeland says:

    The SMSM are so desperate for Celtic to get rid of Matt O’ Riley as they know full well that the guy is class and then some . They will also be thinking that whatever millions he brings in as a fee , that there is little chance of Celtic FC spending much of it on a replacement player(s) with decent money ….so its a win , win situation for our opposition clumpany !

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    When the offers do come in for any player and it’s the figure Celtic want them they will be sold. Fans keep on about we need to buy better players but we are in a league that’s a poor standard so we won’t be spending millions regarding Europe the same we can’t compete with the big clubs so we are only there to make the numbers up if we are honest so nothing will change anytime soon .

  • sligo123456 says:

    I am not a massive fan of O Reilly to be honest. I think he is overated on current form and if a 15 million -20 million offer came in for him I would sell. Having said that I would be happy for him to stay and improve if he REALLY wants to stay at celtic!

  • Eldraco says:

    He is not the player he thinks he is , his centre of gravity in holding play in dreadful and he needs bulking up and lots of pace training. Just imho

  • Cheezydee says:

    Just need to keep in mind the likes of dembele and edouard. Was the season before they left their peak selling time? O’Riley could pick up something as simple as a hamstring injury and then never quite be the same player, like in my opinion, dembele. O’Riley could stay and have another crack at the champions league, play well, and add another £10m+ to his fee, plus £10k+ to his wages. The guys on the huddle breakdown and I think ange himself said, we need to turnover these guys for optimum fees and then buy the next rung up for in order to start progressing up the food chain.

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