leeds united, Opinion: Expect Leeds United to plot January swoop for 22-year-old star if big-money players exit

Opinion: Expect Leeds United to plot January swoop for 22-year-old star if big-money players exit

Leeds United reportedly tried to buy Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley in the August transfer window, with The Scottish Sun revealing that a bid had been rejected.

Leeds United will be looking to sign players in January in their bid to return to the Premier League, and it wouldn’t be a shock if O’Riley is once more a target.

The Danish international has been one of the best players in Scotland so far this season; something that statistics support. O’Riley has recorded six goals and seven assists, including two assists in the Champions League.

That dynamic style of play would be more than welcome at Elland Road. He would no doubt be useful as help the Whites try to catch Leicester City and Ipswich Town while maintaining a squad strong enough to battle in the Premier League, should they make an immediate return there.

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A big transfer fee wanted?

However, what has to be taken into account is that Celtic will want big money for the midfielder. The Hoops will likely demand at least eight-figures for O’Riley, especially when you consider that the player has impressed in the Champions League. It wouldn’t be a great surprise if he was to be tempted to a higher-profile club in a higher league either.

For Leeds United to have any chance of signing O’Riley, they may well have to sell a player in January to fund a bid. That could well be either Crysencio Summerville or Willy Gnonto, with both players drawing interest before and both likely to go for healthy fees should they move on from Elland Road.

Everton had a bid for Gnonto rejected in August and it could be that they rekindle their interest in the Italian. If a move was to materialise, be it to Everton or anywhere else, Leeds United will be wise to splash that money on midfielder O’Riley.

Celtic will want to keep hold of O’Riley as they aim to win a third Scottish title in a row. But money talks, and it would be intriguing to see the Hoops’ response if a bid of around healthy is submitted.

Between O’Riley and existing midfield stars Ethan Ampadu and Glen Kamara, Farke would have the Championship‘s best midfield at his disposal. It would be one that Leeds United could maintain for years to come too as they look to get their place in the top-flight back.

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