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CELTIC WON’T MISS JURANOVIC, O’RILEY IF THEY GO, INSISTS HOOPS HERO 

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FORMER Celtic striker Andy Walker insists his old club will NOT miss Josip Juranovic and Matt O’Riley if they leave in this month’s transfer window.

The Croatia World Cup Finals hero has been linked with several clubs and his value has soared since his exploits in the soccer showpiece in Qatar.

Ange Postecoglou paid £2.5million for the 27-year-old right-back when he swooped to sign him from Legia Warsaw in August 2021, but figures of around £25million are now being mentioned to lure the dependable back-four operator from Parkhead where he is under contract until June 2026.

HAPPY DAZE…Josip Juranovic congratulates Moritz Jenz on his goal in the 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park this season.

Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United are just four of the clubs linked with Juranovic in recent times.

London-born O’Riley joined the champions from English third-tier club MK Dons a year ago for a bargain £1.5million and, like Juranovic, his value has sky-rocketed following his consistently impressive performances for the Hoops.

Arsenal and Liverpool are just two of the clubs interested in the 22-year-old left-footed midfielder, 22, who has been brought into the Denmark international squad since his astonishing rise to fame.

Walker, a goalscoring hero when Billy McNeill was manager in the club’s league and Cup centenary success in 1988, is confident Postecoglou will find suitable replacements from the Japanese and Australian market.

The Greek-Australian has already recruited SIX players from the J-League in the shape of Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi last season while central defender Yuki Kobayashi and defensive midfielder Tomoki Iwata will officially become Celts today.

HAPPY DAZE…Matt O’Riley celebrates with Aaron Mooy after the Aussie’s opening goal in the 4-0 widweek win over Hibs at Easter Road.

Aaron Mooy, a player known to the Celtic boss during his days as Australia international chief, is also impressing in the east end of Glasgow since his arrival in the summer.

Walker, speaking to Go Radio, said: “Celtic have got strength in depth, they’ve already got a few more for the January window and I don’t think they’ll stop there.

“They might brace themselves for an offer for one or two of them, Juranovic or possibly O’Riley, but it wouldn’t really matter.

“Celtic would just go out with a list of players [and buy a replacement]. Ange Postecoglou has tapped into a market we didn’t know a lot about, and speaking from my own experience, probably underestimated the talent you’d get from Australia and Japan.

“They have come over here and fit in so well. The market is there and it’s one that’s paid off for them.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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