Celtic have been dealt a huge blow in their bid to bring Riley McGree to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a claim made by Anthony Joseph, with the Sky Sports journalist revealing in a post on Twitter that, despite earlier reports suggesting that the 23-year-old’s switch from Charlotte FC to Celtic was all but a done deal, talks between the midfielder and Ange Postecoglou’s side have now broken down over personal terms.
Joseph went on to state that the Bhoys and the MLS side had agreed a £2.5m deal for the transfer of the Australia international, however, with the player being yet to put pen to paper on a contract at Parkhead, Championship side Middlesbrough now believe they are still in with a chance of landing McGree this month.
In his post, the journalist said: “Talks between Celtic and Charlotte FC’s Riley McGree have stalled at this stage. The clubs agreed an initial fee of £2.5m. Discussions have broken down over personal terms & the player has not signed any deal yet. Middlesbrough believe they are still in the race.”
Considering just how impressive McGree has been while on loan at Birmingham City this season, in addition to the fact that Postecoglou appears extremely keen to secure a deal for the midfielder this month – with the 56-year-old personally involving himself in negotiations with the player – the news that talks have broken down with the 23-year-old is sure to have left the Bhoys boss fuming.
Indeed, over his 13 Championship appearances this term, the £540k-rated man bagged two goals, registered two assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.8 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.
The £5.7k-per-week player also impressed in metrics more typical of his central midfield position, making an average of 1.3 interceptions, 1.2 tackles, 22 passes and winning 4.8 duels per league fixture, with these returns seeing McGree average a SofaScore match rating of 7.02 – ranking him as Birmingham’s sixth-best player in the second tier.
As such, it is clear to see that McGree would make a fantastic addition to Postecoglou’s current options in the middle of the park.
However, following Joseph’s latest update, it would seem as if a deal for the 23-year-old is far from done just yet – something that will undoubtedly come as a huge blow to the Greek-Australian manager.