Riley McGree won't join Celtic after Ange Postecoglou revealed the player has "decided to look elsewhere" - but Middlesbrough now look set to sign the Socceroo.
Riley McGree won't be joining fellow Socceroo Tom Rogic at Celtic after manager Ange Postecoglou revealed the Australia midfielder had "decided to look elsewhere".
But the 23-year-old McGree still looks set to be returning to Britain from the US with Middlesbrough reported to be on the verge of snapping him up in the January transfer window.
Former Australia boss Postecoglou admitted on Thursday he'd been interested in signing former Adelaide United star McGree, who's been at US Major League Soccer expansion club Charlotte FC after a successful loan spell with English second-tier side Birmingham City.
"McGree was someone I had an interest in because of my association with him and obviously I know the player pretty well," said Postecoglou.
"But after initial discussions he has decided to look elsewhere, which is fine."
Postecoglou has long been a fan of McGree, calling him up to the Socceroos squad back in March 2017.
Yet the South Australian only made his national team debut last year, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Kuwait in June.
Postecoglou had hoped McGree would be part of his rebuilding of Celtic's midfield alongside the mercurial Rogic, who's made a big impact already this season, helping them win the Scottish League Cup.
But after recruiting Yosuke Ideguchi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda from the J-League as well as adding 18-year-old striker Johnny Kenny from Irish club Sligo Rovers, Postecoglou says Celtic's January business is almost certainly done.
"Unless something extraordinary comes along or something happens within the existing squad that means we need to move but as we speak right now there are no other offers or people I have spoken to," said Postecoglou.
That would mean he's ruled out any prospect of signing another Socceroo Martin Boyle, whose name had recently been linked with a possible move from fellow Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.
Instead, McGree, who's made seven Socceroos appearances and was a firm favourite in his 30-match spell at Birmingham, is now said to have undergone a medical at Middlesbrough, who are currently seventh in the Championship and are looking to regain their Premier League status.
McGree would be Boro's fourth senior signing of the window, with local media on Teesside saying the move should be confirmed by the weekend.