Brendan Rodgers shares Matt O'Riley update at Celtic after multi-million Leeds United move
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is hoping to secure Leeds United target Matt O’Riley on a new and improved contract after rejecting a “big-money” £10million bid from the Yorkshire side this summer, according to the Scottish Daily Mail.
The newspaper reported in their print edition [29 September, pg 73] that a big-money bid had been made by the English Championship side, with Rodgers claiming his club could not afford to lose another starting player.
He has also suggested O’Riley has not shown any signs of wanting to move away from Glasgow as he knows the club are investing in his progress to help him improve as a footballer.
Rodgers told the Scottish Daily Mail [29 September]: “I didn’t think we could afford to lose another starter and the club were very supportive on that. They were great.
“We had obviously lost [Carl] Starfelt and lost Jota and we know Cameron Carter-Vickers was going to be out for a while, I didn’t feel we could lose another one.
“But, of course, that’s all on the player as well because if the player really wants to move and pushes for it, then I’m also a believer that, if he doesn’t want to be here, then don’t be here.
“I’ve got experience of that where you think you can keep them for another year but they are not the same player if they really, really want to go. I never got that feeling at all from Matt.
“He knows that I’m investing in him to help him become better. He still knows he’s got a bit to improve and hopefully, this part of the season is confirmation for him that I can still improve him as a player and develop him. Certainly, his value will increase in 12 months’ time.”
Leeds may have missed the boat
The club’s last-gasp effort to get a deal over the line for the highly-rated midfielder was certainly one to be admired. While the £10million on offer wasn’t enough to temp the Glasgow giants into a sale, it was a display that Leeds are aiming their sights high.
Celtic’s determination to keep O’Riley at the club, and Rodgers’ claim that his price will increase throughout the season, show the club have a lot of faith in his ability and he will become a key part of their side as they look to win another Scottish Premiership title.
With four goals and two assists from six SPFL appearances so far this season, it is beginning to show that the midfielder made the right decision to remain in Glasgow. If he can continue this form, there is almost certain to be Premier League interest next summer.
While Leeds may have missed the boat on securing O’Riley’s signature, their aim of promotion to the Premier League could put them in a position to reignite their interest next year. If they do not achieve that, he will likely move to greener pastures.
In other Leeds United news, Daniel Farke has claimed a 19-year-old ace will play an important role this season.