Celtic ace Matt O'Riley wanted for Southampton transfer but Russell Martin holds one fear over reunion

Southampton are interested in Matt O'Riley as Russell Martin eyes up a reunion with the Celtic midfield ace, according to a report.

The former Scotland defender managed O'Riley at MK Dons before he got his big break with a move to the Hoops and is keen to sign him up for Saints now that he has steered them back to the Premier League. A host of clubs are on the trail of the 23-year-old and it's expected he would fetch a Scottish record transfer fee in excess of £25million.

And that could work against Martin with his club put off by that price tag, reports the Scottish Sun. As a result, he is pessimistic about his chances of a reunion with the player despite his interest in attempting to make it happen this summer.

Atletico Madrid had an offer of £20m plus knocked back in January and could come back in while Premier League sides Brighton, West Ham and Everton have been linked. Southampton will need to strengthen for their return to the top flight though so could enter the mix.

They know the market well having previously signed Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Stuart Armstrong from Celtic. It was Martin who signed O'Riley for MK Dons in the January 2021 and the pair worked together for half a season before the manager headed for Swansea City. And it was a matter of months after that when O'Riley was moving on himself with the Hoops plucking him from League One.