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European giants eyeing move for “intelligent” Celtic star in summer blow

Written by on May 1, 2024

Gearing up for the final run-in for the Scottish Premiership title, Celtic are still in control of their crown and are on course to enter the summer transfer window as champions. But that may mean nothing if one European giant comes calling for one of Brendan Rodgers’ best players.

Celtic transfer news

It hasn’t been the simple title push that some would have imagined at the start of the campaign when Michael Beale had Rangers struggling, but Celtic look set to come out on top against their Old Firm rivals nonetheless. A title win would be an ideal platform to take into the transfer window and could go a long way in convincing reported targets such as Charles Pickel and Caoimhin Kelleher into moves this summer.

The key will also be to keep hold of important players. The Bhoys could do nothing but watch on as star man Jota and manager Ange Postecoglou jumped ship in a situation that those in Scotland will be desperate to avoid a repeat of. That said, reports don’t exactly look promising in that regard.

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The Hoops are in the market to land a new shot-stopper in the summer window.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, Inter are keeping Matt O’Riley under observation ahead of the summer transfer window as they potentially look to flex their title-winning muscles for the first time since sealing their latest Serie A crown.

This isn’t the first time that O’Riley has been linked with a move away, of course, with Celtic overcoming an approach from Atletico Madrid for their midfielder’s signature back in the January transfer window. After coming out on top in that transfer tussle, it remains to be seen whether those at Celtic Park will have similar luck this summer.

“Intelligent” O’Riley remains crucial for Celtic

Just like in January, Celtic must win the battle to keep hold of O’Riley this summer if they are to maintain their dominance in the Scottish Premiership. The midfielder is undoubtedly the key to defending their crown once again, and Rodgers will be aware of that quality.

The former Leicester City boss was full of praise for O’Riley earlier this season, saying via Glasgow Live: “I like him a lot. I think he is a really intelligent footballer. He is a top professional. He prepares his body well and he prepares his life well. He wants to do well. He sets his standards high every day to be better.”

Matt O’Riley 23/24

Stats (via Transfermarkt)

Appearances

44

Goals

14

Assists

16

It won’t be an easy task when it comes to keeping hold of O’Riley, especially when looking at the stats, but Celtic did it once and should have the confidence to at least attempt to keep top European clubs at bay for a second time in the space of six months. Whether it is Inter, Atletico Madrid or another club, O’Riley won’t be without suitors, that’s for sure.

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