La Liga title contenders eye blockbuster move for Celtic star which could surpass the Hoops’ record sale

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One of Celtic's star players has been linked with a host of top European clubs

Defending champions Celtic face a battle on their hands if they are to keep hold of one of their star players in the January transfer window.

The Hoops are once again flying high at the top of the Scottish Premiership table this term and much of this early success can be attributed to the excellent form of midfielder Matt O’Riley who has registered a sensational 10 goals and seven assists from just 21 appearances.

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O’Riley was also the main provider for his side in the Champions League, despite their early exit and impressed with a string of individual performances - creating three of his side’s five group stage goals. The 23-year-old has been described as one of the Player’s of the Season so far and his incredible performances at Parkhead have garnered the attention of a host of top European clubs.

Sky Sports News understands that the team leading the race for O’Riley’s signature is Spanish outfit and surprise La Liga leaders Girona.  The team are backed by the same group that own Manchester City - and have been keeping close tabs on the players form so far.

Girona are currently chasing a first ever league title - just two seasons after winning promotion from the second-tier of Spanish football.  O’Riley’s experience in title run-ins, having already won two league titles with Celtic, along with his ability to create and score goals, could provide the Catalonia side with further ammunition as they battle to finish above giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Bilbao.

Celtic are determined to keep hold of the star who recently made his breakthrough with the Danish national team. O’Riley’s contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2027 and it is expected that only a significant bid would be enough to lure the 23-year-old away from Parkhead in January.

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Italian giants Inter Milan are also interested in signing O’Riley, according to reports from the Scottish Sun, while it remains to be seen whether Leeds United and Bologna will return to the table after failed bids in the summer. The outlet explains that O’Riley’s value is believed to be around £30m and if that price tag is met it will surpass the money-spinning £25m sales of both Kieran Tierney to Arsenal and Jota to Al Ittihad last summer.

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