Celtic star has been on Edu radar for years as trusted source hints at possible January approach from Arsenal

·3-min read
Jota of Celtic celebrates with Josip Juranovic of Celtic and Matt O'Riley duirng win over Dundeee Utd at Tannadice Credit: PA Images
Jota of Celtic celebrates with Josip Juranovic of Celtic and Matt O'Riley duirng win over Dundeee Utd at Tannadice Credit: PA Images

Arsenal are reportedly keeping a close eye on the progress of a Celtic midfielder amid claims the Gunners are considering a future raid on the Scottish champions.

Arsenal had a busy summer, spending around £118m on five new signings. Those arrivals, particularly Gabriel Jesus, have helped the Gunners enjoy a solid start to the new season, winning five of their first five. And while they lost for the first time in a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, they remain top of the fledging Premier League table.

The one signing that did elude Arsenal, however, was a new midfielder. Mikel Arteta is looking for a new signing there to bolster his options in the middle of the park. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are perhaps established as first choice. Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga provide the back-up.

However, there remains a feeling that Arsenal do lack a little quality in that position.

As such, they looked at a number of top targets, including Leicester’s Youri Tielemans. Ultimately, they decided not to pursue the Belgian, though a deadline day move for Douglas Luiz did materialise. Aston Villa, however, decided against his sale, despite Arsenal offering around £20m for a player now in the final 10 months of his contract.

Explaining the decision to keep him, Steven Gerrard made clear Aston Villa’s stance.

With a move for Luiz now thought to be off the agenda, Arsenal are now considering other targets to bolster their midfield. To that end, planning for the January window is already well underway.

One name who is on their radar is Palmeiras midfielder Danilo. He’s reportedly someone Edu is much keen to bring to Arsenal with a report naming the 21-year-old as Arsenal’s top target.

Arsenal keen on Matt O’Riley

The Gunners are also reportedly keen on Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley. Reports close to the close of the summer window indicated a bid from Arsenal may soon arrive.

While that wasn’t forthcoming, the Celtic schemer is a player they continue to keep an eye on. Indeed, journalist Dean Jones claims he’s a player they have watched for years with his development since moving to Scotland really catching their eye.

Indicating a possible future bid from the Gunners, Jones told GiveMeSport: “O’Riley is someone who’s been on their watchlist for years, since he was coming through at Fulham he was a player they were keeping tabs on him.

“To varying degrees, he hasn’t quite lived up to his billing at that point. At MK Dons and Celtic, he’s displayed some traits that could show he is a top talent and there’s always been a few clubs sniffing around for him.”

Midfielder comes with an achievable price tag

Whether Arsenal follow up their interest with a firm bid remains to be seen. However, The Sun believes he is a player very much on their radar and that a future offer could be forthcoming.

Celtic value the player at between the £15m-£20m mark; a bid in that price range would leave Celtic with a real problem at saying no.

The player will certainly be one to watch on Tuesday night as Celtic mark their Champions League return with a dream clash against reigning champions Real Madrid.

O’Riley will certainly be up against it, testing himself against the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

But these are the sort of games where he can really underline his growing reputation and his status as a top midfielder.

Rated as one of Celtic’s dangermen, one Spanish newspaper earmarked O’Riley as one player to keep an eye on in the game. Indeed, their feature branded Matt O’Riley as a ‘very dangerous player’.

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