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Celtic: Matt O’Riley attracting interest

Celtic could well be facing a nightmare scenario at Parkhead regarding midfielder Matt O’Riley, with the highly-rated playmaker currently attracting interest from the Premier League.

What’s the word?

According to the Daily Mail, via the Daily Record, Leicester City are reportedly keeping tabs on the 21-year-old at present, having sent scouts to watch the Denmark U21 international in action at Parkhead last week during the Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.

The report suggests that the Foxes – managed by former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers – are stepping up their interest in the former MK Dons man ahead of the January window, with the Midlands side having previously been one of the clubs linked with a move over the summer, alongside Newcastle United.

Rumours in the recent window had suggested that the exciting asset – who is also reportedly being scouted by Manchester United – could be worth as much as £20m, with the player himself having admitted that there was interest from those at the King Power Stadium, as well as the Magpies.

Wanyama 2.0

The Old Firm giants are no stranger to seeing their top talent poached by clubs south of the border, with the last decade or so having seen a number of high-profile figures leave Glasgow for the riches of life in England.

That was the case with regards to Kenyan colossus, Victor Wanyama, with the towering midfielder having joined the Hoops for a reported fee of just £900k in 2011, before quickly establishing himself as a key asset under Neil Lennon.

The Nairobi-born menace – who racked up 13 goals and nine assists in 91 games for the Bhoys in all competitions – notably attracted interest as a result of his displays on the European stage, much like O’Riley, having memorably scored in that remarkable triumph over Barcelona in 2012.

Such displays unsurprisingly saw the dominant ace swiftly snapped up by Premier League outfit Southampton after just two years in Scotland, with Lennon and co having enjoyed only a fleeting relationship with the player, albeit while raking in a tidy profit as a result of his £12.5m fee.

It looks as if O’Riley could follow that example and make an even speedier move away from Celtic Park in the winter window, having only arrived at his current club for what has proven a bargain price of just £1.5m back in January.

Despite that relatively short stint under Ange Postecoglou’s tutelage, the £2.07m-rated ace has quickly become a leading asset for the Scottish champions, scoring four times and laying on seven assists in 34 appearances to date.

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The 6 foot 2 “machine” – as dubbed by former boss Russell Martin – had notably been a real shining light despite defeat during last week’s loss to Leipzig, with such a display on the European stage likely to have garnered further admirers.

To lose such a promising asset so quickly would be a nightmare for both Postecoglou and the club, with the Hoops potentially set to once again only reap the benefits of such talent for a brief period, as has been the case with the likes of Wanyama and a host of others.

Article title: Celtic: Matt O’Riley attracting interest

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