CELTIC have booted out an Atletico Madrid bid for Matt O’Riley, as CQN predicted yesterday.
Boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the champions had rejected an offer for the midfielder and insisted the Danish international was going NOWHERE in this transfer window.
It was reported the Spanish giants wanted the 23-year-old playmaker on an original loan move with an obligation to buy at the end of the season.
Rodgers said: “Matt is a player we don’t want to lose and he won’t be going anywhere in January.
GOAL-DEN BHOY…Matt O’Riley is about to be congratulated by Alistair Johnston after his wonder strike in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth last month.
“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.
“He is very much part of what we are doing. He has been a joy to work with.”
The Hoops boss revealed: “I had a chat with Matt this morning. One of the things I’ve always been impressed with is Matt’s mentality. How he approaches his profession and obviously the respect he has here for Celtic.
“We had an opportunity in the summer, but he was happy to extend here, which is great.
“Atletico Madrid is a big club, but he obviously knows he’s in a great place here.
“He’s really kicked on this season in his progression and he wants to continue with that.
“For us, we’ve got no want to sell, we’ve got no need to and he’ll be here for the second half of the season.”
LIFT-OFF…Matt O’Riley is walking on air as he notches Celtic’s dramatic stoppage-time winner against Motherwell at Fir Park in September.
Rodgers did not reveal the exact details of the La Liga giants’ offer for the 10-goal man, only that it fell way short of how much the champions rate the player who cost a bargain £1.5million when he joined from English third-tier outfit MK Dons two years ago.
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to Sky Sports, added: “You have a value of the player, certainly what has come in for Matt in the time I’ve been here is nowhere near the valuation and quality of player that he is.
“Even if it was, we’re in a position where we don’t want to sell.
“It’s great. It shows you that players are developing and a club like Atletico Madrid coming in for you shows you that you’re doing something right.”
O’Riley, who signed a contract extension in September that runs until 2027, will go into action again for the champions at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon when Ross County provide the opposition.