‘He won’t be going anywhere’ - Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers determined to keep star man amid late interest

Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep his star player at the club.Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep his star player at the club.
Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep his star player at the club.
Matt O’Riley’s performances have caught the attention of a number of elite European clubs.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant that star player Matt O’Riley will not leave Parkhead this month despite well documented interest from Spanish powerhouses Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga outfit wanted to take the 23-year-old on a six-month loan deal in a proposal which also included an obligation to buy the player at the end of the season for a fee of £20m, as reported by the Scotsman.

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Further offers are anticipated before the end of the month and the likes of Inter Milan, Girona and several English clubs are also believed to be keeping a close eye on the Danish international.

The interest surrounding O’Riley is hardly surprising given his form in recent seasons. The former MK Dons man helped Celtic to league titles in both of his first two years in Glasgow, but has now taken his game to another level - registering 10 goals and seven assists in his side’s opening 21 games - making him the most productive player in the whole of the Premiership so far this term.

O’Riley’s contribution in the upcoming months could prove to be the difference between winning and losing the league title, and in Rodgers’ eyes he is far too important a player to lose at this stage of the season.

The ex-Liverpool and Leicester boss confirmed news of an offer from Atletico Madrid, but made his stance clear when discussing the player’s future.

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Rodgers said: “There was that but Matt is a player we don’t want to lose and he won’t be going anywhere in January.

“It’s a great testament to him and what the club can do for a player. He won his first international cap this season and Atletico Madrid are a big club in European football.

“But he is very much part of what we are doing. He has been a joy to work with and I had a good chat with Matt this morning and he is someone who will be here for us in the second part of the season.”

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