Leeds United have been credited with an interest in Matt O’Riley, Celtic’s one-time MK Dons midfielder.
According to Scottish journalist Anthony Joseph, Daniel Farke’s side saw a £10m bid for the 22-year-old rebuffed during the transfer window. With the window now having closed for four months, O’Riley won’t be moving on in the short term.
O’Riley, who has been capped up to Under 18 level by England, and Under 21 level by Denmark, did not make the move to Elland Road and now looks unlikely to do so. That’s because Celtic are now hoping to tie him down to a new deal that will keep him north of the border, should Leeds attempt to reignite their interest.
He came through the ranks at Fulham, making his debut for them in the Championship against Reading. He seemed to have a bright future at Craven Cottage, and in 2020 was offered a new three-year deal, which he turned down in favour of a move to League One side MK Dons.
He spent twelve months with Milton Keynes, scoring ten goals in 49 outings and earning rave reviews from across the football world. That prompted Celtic to stump up £1.5m for his services on a four-and-a-half-year deal. Whilst in Scotland, O’Riley has continued to impress, winning a treble in 2023 and scoring eight times in 64 appearances.
It does now seem unlikely that O’Riley will join Leeds at a later date. They switched their attention to different midfielders, namely Ilia Gruev and Glen Kamara, and with Celtic’s intention of securing their asset on a long deal, a move now seems dead in the water.
A move to Leeds looks to be off the cards, but it doesn’t mean O’Riley won’t move on. He’s demonstrated an ability to shift allegiances depending on opportunity by snubbing England for Denmark, and if a Premier League club were to show interest, I could see him trading up from Celtic for a shot in the English top flight.
If he does, Celtic will make a handsome profit, and turning down £10m was a big statement. O’Riley is still young, but he’s proving to be effective for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but they would surely have a price. Leeds might not be able to stretch beyond £10m, but what of a Premier League side, such as Burnley, Sheffield United or Brentford?
He might have a long-term deal at Celtic Park, but doubtless there are those around Parkhead wondering whether he will still be wearing the green and white this time next season.