Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is said to be attracting interest from Leicester City and Ange Postecoglou’s latest comments on the 21-year-old will not leave Hoops fans happy.
Despite only moving to Parkhead in January, O’Riley’s impressive performances have clearly impressed those south of the border, with Leicester City reportedly keen on bringing the Bhoys midfielder to the King Power Stadium this summer.
While you would hope that any manager would be keen on retaining one of the top young talents in his side, Postecoglou has seemingly encouraged the interest from the Foxes in his recent comments about the former MK Dons man.
He said: “I encourage it. If big clubs want our players that’s great. It means they are going well.
“I keep saying to the boys, they don’t need to worry about their futures if they are the best they can be today. That kind of stuff doesn’t come on my radar so I don’t worry about it.
“I’ve not seen anything from Matt to suggest he’s thinking about these things. The players know why big clubs might come in for them. It’s not because we’ve given them publicity – it’s the work they do, day in and day out.”
While Postecoglou’s attitude towards developing players is a good one to have, his comment about ‘big clubs’ wanting his players may well irritate fans who would argue that Leicester are nowhere near as big a club as Celtic, considering their respective records in Europe and trophy hauls.
Of course, it is understandable that players might want to move to the Premier League, but Celtic have only been able to enjoy O’Riley for a few months, and Postecoglou should really be sending out a hands-off warning.
The 21-year-old has featured just 20 times in a Hoops shirt thus far, in which he has contributed four goals and two assists during a seriously impressive half a year in Glasgow.
He will undoubtedly be a key player next season and will continue to develop, so to sell him before he has really had a chance to settle in Scotland would be very underwhelming transfer business by Celtic.
As a result, fans will be hoping to see a lot more from O’Riley rather than losing him to an English side so soon.