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Report: Southampton Prepare £20m Bid for Celtic Star

Southampton Eyes £20 Million Move for Celtic’s Matt O’Riley

Russell Martin’s Target

Southampton, freshly promoted to the Premier League, are preparing a substantial £20 million bid for Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley, as reported by TalkSport. The move would see O’Riley reunite with Russell Martin, his former coach at MK Dons, who greatly influenced his early career. This bid underlines the Saints’ intention to bolster their squad with quality additions for the upcoming Premier League season.

A Reunion on the Horizon

Russell Martin, now at the helm of Southampton, recognizes O’Riley’s potential from their time together at MK Dons, where the young midfielder made significant contributions with three goals in 23 appearances. O’Riley’s development has been closely watched by Martin, who has expressed a keen interest in bringing the 23-year-old to St. Mary’s Stadium. “He’s the first manager to really understand me as a player and more importantly as a person,” O’Riley once said, praising Martin’s influence on his career trajectory.

Photo: IMAGO

O’Riley’s Impressive Track Record

Since his £1.5 million transfer to Celtic in January 2022, O’Riley has become a pivotal figure in Scottish football, amassing 27 goals and 34 assists across 121 matches. His performance has not only been central to Celtic’s domestic success—securing three Scottish Premiership titles and multiple cup victories—but also on the European stage, with 12 appearances in the Champions League. These accolades underscore his readiness for the challenges of the Premier League.

Southampton’s Summer Strengthening

The pursuit of O’Riley is part of Southampton’s broader strategy to reinforce their squad following their promotion. The club has already completed significant signings, including Adam Lallana from Brighton on a free transfer and Taylor Harwood-Bellis for £20 million. These acquisitions, coupled with their intent to secure O’Riley, signal Southampton’s determination to make an immediate impact upon their return to England’s top flight.

The potential addition of O’Riley would not only bring proven quality and versatility to Southampton’s midfield but also add a layer of strategic depth as they prepare for the demands of the Premier League. With the season fast approaching, the Saints are positioning themselves as a team not merely content with survival but poised for competitive performances.

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