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Aston Villa target Matt O’Riley could now be ‘next John McGinn’



  • Aston Villa are mulling over whether to test Celtic’s resolve by making a bid for Matt O’Riley after sending scouts to watch him in action.
  •  Unai Emery is facing competition from a host of clubs as he aims to get a deal over the line for the Denmark international.
  •  Transfer insider Dean Jones believes O’Riley boasts similarities to Villa fan favourite John McGinn.



Aston Villa target Matt O’Riley boasts similar traits to captain John McGinn and would fit in ‘very well’ at Villa Park, but transfer insider Dean Jones has told GIVEMESPORT whether head coach Unai Emery will be able to lure him away from Celtic next month.



Having shown ambition by shattering their club-record outlay and forking out £51.9million in order to acquire Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen ahead of the campaign getting underway, the Villans have been among the Premier League’s surprise packages and launched an unexpected title bid.


Emery, who has led Villa into the last 16 of the Europa Conference League thanks to guiding them to four wins in the group stage, will be handed another opportunity to splash the cash when the winter window opens for business at the turn of the year.



Villa in battle to land O’Riley

Villa have been monitoring O’Riley closely and sent scouts to watch him in Champions League action ahead of potentially testing Celtic’s resolve with a January bid, according to Sky Sports, but they would need to part with more than £25million if they want to have any chance of striking a deal.


The report suggests West Ham United, PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid have also been keeping tabs on the central midfielder – who has been at Parkhead since completing a £1.5million switch from Milton Keynes Dons in January 2022 – while Inter Milan are attempting to steal a march on fellow suitors by preparing to launch an initial loan offer which includes an obligation to buy.


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Celtic will be desperate to keep O’Riley on their books as he could play a critical role in fending off Old Firm rivals Rangers in the race for the Scottish Premiership title, and they showed they are unwilling to lower their demands when they snubbed a bid from Leeds United during the closing stages of the summer transfer window.












Inter are not the only Serie A side to have taken a serious interest in the Denmark international as Bologna also tried their luck by putting a proposal on the table in August, only for his current employers to reject their advances.


Villa could face additional competition in their pursuit of O’Riley as domestic rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion have also been linked as they formulate their plans for the winter transfer window.



In a potential boost for Emery, respected journalist Jones recently told GIVEMESPORT that the 23-year-old will eventually be tempted to test himself in the Premier League after enjoying a hugely successful spell north of the border.


Dean Jones update – Matt O’Riley

Jones believes natural comparisons can be drawn between O’Riley and Villa fan favourite McGinn, who has gone on to make more than 200 appearances for the Midlands outfit since sealing a switch from Hibernian close to five-and-a-half years ago, and the Celtic talisman would be a shrewd addition to Emery’s squad.


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But the transfer insider fears the Spanish tactician may be frustrated in his pursuit as, having already lifted silverware on four occasions during his stint at Parkhead, the Fulham academy graduate is expected to remain loyal to Brendan Rodgers’ side.





“I think you can make comparisons between O’Riley and McGinn in terms of their profile and what you get from them within a team.

I think that O’Riley’s personality would probably fit very well with where Aston Villa are right now.


“If you’re a Celtic fan or player, he is someone that you definitely do not want to be losing in this January market. I feel like he is probably going to be loyal to them based on how they’ve been with him so far and the fact that they’ve given him this opportunity to get to this moment.


“I think he will probably see this season out, but I can totally see why Aston Villa and other clubs might be looking at him right now.”



Emery aware of Iling-Junior price tag

Villa have registered their interest in Juventus outcast Samuel Iling-Junior, according to Football Insider, and the Serie A giants are willing to sanction a move to the Midlands if a £17million bid is put on the table when the transfer window reopens.


The report suggests the Villans have asked for information on the 20-year-old, who has been limited to just 165 minutes of action this season, but they are facing competition from Tottenham after it has emerged that he is keen to leave the Allianz Stadium.



Reputable reporter Paul Brown recently told GIVEMESPORT that Iling-Junior will be available at the season’s midway point as he is not in the forefront of Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri’s plans, leading to Villa links surfacing.



Emery could see the coming weeks as an ideal opportunity to pounce as the winger is set to enter the final 18 months of his contract, which allows him to pocket just over £10,500-per-week, and the Italian heavyweights will not want to run the risk of his value decreasing.



But that may also be used to Tottenham’s advantage as he was earmarked as a top target by boss Ange Postecoglou last month and key members behind the scenes feel he has bags of potential, increasing the likelihood of a winter swoop.

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