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Key factor revealed after Celtic win transfer race despite Blackburn, Swansea and Newcastle interest

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A conversation with Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou reportedly convinced in-demand midfielder MK Dons Matt O’Riley that joining the Scottish club was the right move. 

After a phenomenal start to the 2021/22 campaign, which saw the 21-year-old score seven times and add six assists as he helped his side battle for a play-off spot, O’Riley has been a player in demand this month.

Blackburn Rovers and Swansea City were both linked while Burnley and Newcastle United are thought to have considered a move for the midfielder.

According to The Athletic, the Swans were frontrunners given the player’s links to Russell Martin but were not able to meet the £1.5 million asking price, which allowed Celtic to swoop after they missed out on Riley McGree.

The report claims that O’Riley was not convinced about a move to the Bhoys but a phone conversation with Postecoglou left him in no doubt that the Glasgow club was the best place for him.

The midfielder came through the Fulham academy but rejected a new contract offer and left in July 2020 in pursuit of regular first team football.

Joining MK Dons six months later helped him find that and O’Riley has gone from strength to strength since.

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The Verdict

Celtic’s move for O’Riley seemed to happen really quickly and for much of the month, the Championship looked likely to be his next destination.

The 21-year-old has been excellent this term and the £1.5 million that the Scottish club paid should already be considered an absolute bargain.

If he can kick on in Glasgow, the midfielder could be a really dangerous player in the SPFL and we may well see Premier League links develop fairly quickly.

For a long period it seemed as though O’Riley’s relationship with Martin were going to see him join the Swans but in the end, it’s Postecoglou that got the deal over the line for his club.

You feel the Celtic fans are going to have a lot to thank the Australian for moving forward.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Key factor revealed after Celtic win transfer race despite Blackburn, Swansea and Newcastle interest

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