Brendan Rodgers reveals Celtic Matt O'Riley stance, value of Atletico bid, player who will miss County match and how much they can pay for players

Parkhead boss met with playmaker to discuss situation after La Liga outfit’s offer

Brendan Rodgers insists Matt O’Riley won’t be leaving Celtic for Atletico Madrid this month and revealed the Spaniards’ valuation of the player is far below his worth.

Atletico have tested the waters with an offer to loan the player for the remainder of the season ahead of a permanent transfer in the summer. Rodgers, though, has categorically ruled out any of his key players leaving in the final week of the window, including O’Riley whom Celtic signed from MK Dons two years ago for just £1.5m.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Every single player has a value and everyone knows the club and the club’s model,” said the Northern Irishman. “But there is no need at this point to do it. The valuation we have is nowhere near the offers we’ve had in. Listen, it’s great for Matt, in terms of him developing and improving, that a team of that calibre are interested in him. I’m pretty sure he’ll get his rewards later on, whether it’s here or elsewhere. But at this moment in time he’s developing really well. Naturally clubs will always look at it and think they can maybe get a player for a certain amount. But for a club like ours at this moment in time we have no need to sell. We certainly don’t want to be selling our top players.”

Matt O'Riley during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown on Thursday.Matt O'Riley during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown on Thursday.
Matt O'Riley during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown on Thursday.

Rodgers and O’Riley met on Thursday morning to discuss the offer from Atletico, leaving the manager content that he won’t have an unhappy player on his hands for the remainder of the season. “It’s just about being open and honest with him,” he added. “Listen, I could have ignored it. But I pulled him in this morning and we had a good chat about it. I like to be open with the players so they understand the feeling. But he and I have been like that from the first day. That is coaching, that is management. It’s that relationship between the coach and the coachee.

“And you have to have that, I think, to get the best out of players. So he understands totally and knows where he is at. He’s had it before in the summer and has seen the progress he’s made since then. It’s flattering when it’s a real prestigious club of the European game. And he’s had the experience of working against them and seeing it. But he's a real sensible guy with a lot of common sense. He knows how he has developed and what we want him for in the second half of the season. When it’s open like that it’s a far easier thing to take.”

Celtic, who will be without Greg Taylor for Saturday’s home match with Ross County after the full-back sustained a calf strain, are still looking to add more players to their squad this week. Rodgers admits the club’s finances could potentially stretch to a £20m transfer fee but said it would never happen, with the ceiling for any incoming transfers likely to be closer to £7m.

“The money’s there but that won’t happen,” he added. “If you’re bringing in a £20m player then you’re taking a £20m player’s wages. That doesn’t work here sadly. We’re not in that ballpark. I think that’s realistic [£6-7m]. Look before when they signed [Cameron] Carter-Vickers or Jota. The evidence is there that they do that. But £20m is …..”