Inter Milan considering move for Celtic midfielder O’Riley

Inter Milan are considering a January move for Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley.

The Serie A club are prepared to offer an initial loan until the end of the season with an obligation to buy him in the summer.

Inter are among an increasing number of top clubs sending scouts to watch O’Riley, amid an increase in his performance level again this season.

Aston Villa and West Ham have been watching him recently, as well as PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid, and all of these clubs have been present for his Champions League appearances, in which he made three assists.

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Take a look at all of Matt O’Riley’s goals for Celtic this season with the midfielder taking the Scottish Premiership by storm!

Inter are discussing whether to steal a march on potential rivals by making a move when the January transfer window begins, but it would take a record fee for Celtic to agree to any deal.

Their current record sale is around £25m for Jota from Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad last summer, which trumped the £23m they earned from Arsenal for Kieran Tierney in 2019.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers understands midfielder Matt O’Riley will attract interest but he is not worried about losing his star player.

Ahead of their Scottish Premiership match against Livingston Brendan Rodgers insisted he remained focused on adding to his squad in January.

“I don’t have a fear on any of the players.

“I’m delighted for Matt that he’s made a fantastic step forward this season as a Celtic player and in his career.

“That shows that focus and mentality in the training and the confidence that he’s taking into the game, he’ll always attract interest of teams.

“I don’t have any fear, he’s a good guy and he works very hard and when you do that you’re always going to have interest that will come your way.

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“For now he’s very much focused on performing for Celtic and until the break.

“There’s still such a long way to go. We were consistently good then in the last week or so we haven’t been good enough, I can’t be any more clear on that.

“We want to add to the squad rather than take any away and the likes of Matt is a very important player for us.

O’Riley recently broke into the Denmark national team. In his first 24 games of the season in all competitions he has scored nine goals and notched eight assists.

In September, the 23-year-old ended contract speculation by agreeing a new deal with Celtic.

O’Riley committed his future until 2027 after the club turned down a £10m bid from Leeds United in the summer.

‘A top-class player you could watch play football all day’

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Kris Boyd believes Matt O’Riley will secure a big money move in the future after continuing to prove his class with his performances from last season

Speaking after Celtic’s 2-1 win at Hearts in October, Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd said O’Riley would be “one of the next ones to go in terms of big money”:

“Celtic have got this knack of bringing players in, giving them a platform to go and perform. They then go and move them on for big money.

“Matt O’Riley will be one of the next ones to go in terms of big money.

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Matt O’Riley rockets home Celtic’s second goal to put them ahead in the 78th minute

“Last season, everyone was raving about his assists, and rightly so, but there was always the doubt about whether he could add goals. He’s doing that now.

“You could sit and watch Matt O’Riley play football all day. He’s a top-class player. He glides about the pitch and Brendan Rodgers has obviously asked him to get forward more this season. He is reaping the benefits of that.”

When does the January window open?

The transfer window opens on Monday January 1, 2024 and will close at 11pm on Thursday February 1, 2024.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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CL round-up: Kane sends Bayern into knockout stage

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Real Sociedad all booked their places in the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games to spare on a dramatic night of European action.

Bayern made it four wins out of four in Group A but only after a frantic finish in their 2-1 win over Galatasaray.

The visitors had the ball in the net just after the hour but Lucas Torreira was offside, and Bayern took the lead when Harry Kane flicked in Joshua Kimmich’s free-kick with 10 minutes to go, with the goal awarded following a VAR check after initially being ruled offside.

Kane then doubled the lead with his 25th career Champions League goal, turning in Mathys Tel’s cross in the 86th minute, and they needed the cushion as Cedric Bakambu scored for Galatasaray in stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid cruised through with a 3-0 win over Braga. They overcame an early scare when Alvaro Djalo missed a penalty for the visitors after Lucas Vazquez fouled Cristian Borja just four minutes in, but once Brahim Diaz put them in front in the 27th minute there was no looking back.

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo added to the scoreline with two goals in five minutes early in the second half, and there was no way back for the visitors.

The other Group C game between Napoli and Union Berlin ended 1-1 as David Fofana’s first Union goal – and the club’s first away from home in the Champions League – cancelled out Matteo Politano’s opener.

Inter edged out RB Salzburg 1-0 in Austria to secure their progress, with the game decided by Lautaro Martinez’s 84th-minute penalty after Mads Bidstrup handled in the area.

And that result also saw Real Sociedad go through from Group D after their 3-1 win over Benfica earlier in the evening.

Early goals from Mikel Merino and Mikel Oyarzabal had Sociedad in control after just 11 minutes and it was 3-0 10 minutes later as Ander Barrenetxea fired into the roof of the net.

Brais Mendez hit the post with a penalty just before the half hour and Rafa Silva pulled one back for Benfica early in the second half, but Sociedad comfortably took the points.

And in Group B, Luuk de Jong’s 12th-minute header was enough to hand PSV Eindhoven a 1-0 win over Lens, who had substitute Morgan Guilavogui sent off late on.

Man Utd complete £47.2m Onana deal

Manchester United have completed the £47.2m signing of goalkeeper Andre Onana from Inter Milan.

Onana has signed a five-year deal at Old Trafford with the option of a further year, as he replaces the departed David De Gea, who left the club after 12 years as the club’s first-choice stopper.

The transfer fee for the 27-year-old Cameroon international is an initial €51m (£43.8m), plus €4m (£3.4m) in potential add-ons, depending on individual and club performance.

United boss Erik ten Hag worked with Onana at Ajax, where they won three league titles and two KNVB Cups together and reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

The goalkeeper, who has kept 104 clean sheets in 255 appearances throughout his club career, joined Inter Milan in 2022 and won the Coppa Italia during his time at the San Siro.

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Watch Andre Onana’s best saves from the Africa Cup of Nations 2022

“To join Manchester United is an incredible honour and I have worked hard all my life to get to this moment, overcoming many obstacles along the way,” Onana said.

“Walking out at Old Trafford to defend our goal and contribute to the team will be another amazing experience. This is the start of a new journey for me, with new teammates, and new ambitions to fight for.

“Manchester United has a long history of incredible goalkeepers, and I will now give everything to create my own legacy in the coming years. I am excited by the opportunity to work again with Erik ten Hag, and I can’t wait to play my part in the success I know he is determined to deliver at this great football club.”

Kaveh: Ten Hag has the goalkeeper he wants

Andre Onana could be set to reunite with Ten Hag at Old Trafford
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Andre Onana has been reunited with Ten Hag at Old Trafford

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Erik ten Hag has got the goalkeeper he wants for next season. You have to say it’s an incredible deal for Inter Milan, because they signed Onana last summer on a free transfer and are now selling him for up to almost £48m.

“Ten Hag knows him well because he worked with him at Ajax.

“He’s a modern goalkeeper. He can play out from the back, is very comfortable on the ball and likes to take risks – so many, in fact, he was sent home from the World Cup by the manager of Cameroon because he was unhappy with how much he was playing out.

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“He’s a bit of a contrast from David De Gea. Everyone talks about how you need a goalkeeper who’s comfortable on the ball and can play out from the back in modern football, and Onana can certainly do that – he was exceptional for Inter, helping them get to the Champions League final.

“He has had a bit of history with Ten Hag before, they fell out a couple of times at Ajax and he was dropped, and he also served a nine-month ban for a doping violation, but Ten Hag wanted a new goalkeeper and he’s got his man.”

Analysis: Why Onana can elevate Man Utd

Sky Sports digital football journalist Zinny Boswell:

“Andre Onana represents the modern goalkeeper. He can play with his feet, he’s mobile which allows him to play as a sweeper ‘keeper. But most importantly, he’s confident. That’s going to be the key for him at Man Utd. They’ll hope he will be able to deal with what Gary Neville describes as the most pressurised role in English football.

“The key thing behind Onana’s arrival will be that he unlocks Man Utd’s build-up play. We saw Lisandro Martinez arrive last season from Ajax and it just had such a big impact on the confidence of the team when playing out from the back. We’ve also seen David De Gea’s shortcomings in that area hold the team back.

“Looking at the stats, Onana outperforms De Gea across passing frequency, passing accuracy, long passes and long passing accuracy. But we can also see that Onana tends to go short more often. In terms of the way Ten Hag is trying to play, with the aim of controlling games, Onana will be the perfect goalkeeper for the Dutchman.

“If the goalkeeper is stuttering over his passes that spreads throughout the team. As we’ve seen with Man Utd over the last season they’ve been pretty fragile at times. They could do with a bit of confidence at the back.”

Who will be on the move this summer ahead of the transfer window closing at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports‘ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Chelsea and Lukaku want summer exit

Romelu Lukaku did not join up with Chelsea for pre-season on Wednesday as originally planned.

The decision for the forward to not link up with the Chelsea squad was mutually agreed by Lukaku and the club.

New manager Mauricio Pochettino previously said he expected all returning players, including Lukaku, to come to his office for an introductory conversation.

All parties agree the right option is for the Belgium striker to move on, with Lukaku favouring a move to Inter Milan despite interest from Saudi Arabia.

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring the second penalty in the penalty shoot-out during the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday 27th February, 2022.
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Chelsea agree with Lukaku that a new start is best for all parties

Chelsea hope that delaying his return to London will allow the clubs more time to find a solution.

Inter are yet to agree a deal with Chelsea but negotiations are ongoing. Chelsea leave for their US tour on 17 July and hope a deal can be reached before then.

Chelsea start season against Liverpool, live on Sky

Chelsea Fixtures 2023/24

Mauricio Pochettino will take charge of Chelsea for the first time when they start the 2023/24 Premier League season at home to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, on Sunday August 13.

Chelsea then head to London rivals West Ham on August 19 before welcoming newly promoted Luton Town to Stamford Bridge on August 26.

Pochettino, who begins his role with the Blues on July 1, will visit his former club Tottenham on November 4 with the return fixture scheduled for February 24.

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 14 and closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News