Southampton, West Ham and Newcastle United chase 'wonderful' £30m Leeds United-linked man

Celtic midfielder Matt O’RileyCeltic midfielder Matt O’Riley
Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley | Getty Images
Leeds United have the chance to bring in some new signings ahead of the 2024/25 Championship season

Leeds United-linked Matt O’Riley is a man in serious demand this summer with Celtic facing a battle to keep hold of him.

According to The Sun, Leicester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton have ‘watched’ him over recent times, as well as Spanish La Liga giants Atletico Madrid. Football Insider claim Newcastle United, West Ham and Chelsea are all also keen with his price tag said to be around £25-30million.

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GiveMeSport reported earlier this year that Leeds were interested along with Brentford. However, their failure to get promoted from the Championship and with the sheer number of teams now seemingly in the frame mean it is very unlikely that he will be heading to Elland Road in this window.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is a big fan of the former Denmark youth international and has said: “I like him a lot. I think he is a really intelligent footballer. He is a top professional.

“He prepares his body well, and he prepares his life well. He wants to do well. He sets his standards high every day to be better. I really like him, his build-up play is good, he takes the ball, and he needs to work on his pressing and intensity, but he is a wonderful footballer, and he is a good guy as well.”

O’Riley, who is 23-years-old, is under contract at Celtic Park until the summer of 2027 meaning the Scottish Premiership champions are under absolutely no pressure to sell him anytime soon. They can wait for the right offer to come in for his services before they consider cashing in.

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They lured him up to Scotland back in 2020 and he hasn’t looked back since. He has become a key player for the Glasgow giants and has made 119 appearances in all competitions, chipping in with 27 goals, a whopping 19 of which came in the last campaign.

The London-born man started his career at Fulham and was a regular for the London club at various different youth levels as a teenager.

He then went on to play five times for their first-team before heading out the Craven Cottage exit door in 2021. O’Riley subsequently joined MK Dons and made 54 outings for the Dons whilst they were in League One under their former manager Russell Martin, who is now reportedly an admirer at Southampton, and found the net on 10 occasions.

His performances in the third tier alerted the attention of Celtic and he has become one of their most prized assets since his decision to move up the border.

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There is no doubt that O’Riley would be ideal for Leeds but there is no way he would transfer to the Championship at this moment in time.

That means that Farke will need to look at alternative midfield targets as he looks to get the Yorkshire outfit out of the second tier. First up for the Whites is a home match against Portsmouth next month followed a Carabao Cup clash against Middlesbrough.

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