Celtic could seemingly find it difficult to keep hold of their star men, amid reported interest in midfielder Matt O’Riley.
The 21-year-old is currently attracting admiring glances from across Europe, with the former MK Dons man – who is said to be valued at around £20m – reportedly being scouted by Premier League giants, Manchester United, during the summer window.
More recent speculation has suggested that Leicester City are also stepping up their interest in the Denmark U21 international at present, having reportedly sent scouts to watch the playmaker in action at Parkhead during the Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.
Amid that speculation, journalist Pete O’Rourke – in an interview with Football FanCast – has suggested that the Old Firm outfit could well have an issue trying to keep the suitors at bay.
Asked about the Hoops’ confidence with regards to keeping the youngster at the club, the transfer insider stated: “Yeah obviously it’s always tough for the likes of Celtic and Rangers when English Premier League clubs do come calling for their players.
“Obviously, the finances on offer in the Premier League compared to Scotland are vast, so again that will be a big problem for Celtic as they try to keep hold of O’Riley.”
As O’Rourke alluded to, the Glasgow side – as well as rivals Rangers – are no doubt seemingly used to seeing their star assets poached by clubs south of the border, with most finding it hard to turn down the glitz and glamour on offer at the top level of English football.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou will likely be dreading the loss of a talent such as O’Riley, with the London-born ace having been a hugely impressive figure since his January arrival, proving something of a bargain in relation to his initial £1.5m transfer fee.
The 6 foot 2 “magician” – as dubbed by talent scout Jacek Kulig – has unsurprisingly earned admirers as a result of his sparkling form of late, with four goals and seven assists in 36 appearances across all competitions to date.
The “mature” gem – as dubbed by national team coach Jesper Sorensen – has been producing performances that have belied his years, with it having been a real meteoric rise of late for the promising talent.
As recent history has proved, the Scottish Premiership side could well be powerless to prevent O’Riley from making a move away should he so wish, with Parkhead having become something of a stepping stone in the last decade or so.
That was no doubt evident in the case of Virgil van Dijk, with the towering defender having been signed for a reported fee of just £2.6m from Dutch outfit Groningen back in 2013 at the age of 21, before being moved on to Southampton just two years later for £13m.
While that represented a tidy profit for the Bhoys, it has proven a difficult ask to attempt to fill the Netherlands international’s void in the side over the years, with it only current star Cameron Carter-Vickers who has seemingly been able to replace the towering titan at the club.
Postecoglou will no doubt be hoping that a repeat scenario does not occur if O’Riley is to be sold, with it set to prove a hard task to be able to replace such an exciting talent on the cheap.