The 18-year-old Australian is reportedly on Celtic's radar after exploding onto the scene Down Under.
Brendan Rodgers has not once lamented the financial restrictions forcing Celtic to scout extensively for hidden gems before inevitably selling them on for a profit. Instead, he has embraced the system that allowed the club to enjoy the progress of Virgil Van Dijk, Gary Hooper and co before reinvesting in the squad after they made the move south of the border.
“Celtic get a couple of million a year from TV money – down there [England] you are getting £100m if you finish bottom. So absolutely every penny we get in here at Celtic has to be worked for,” Rodgers said in quotes reported by the Daily Record.
“You know at Celtic that if you get a really talented player then the cycle at best is a couple of years, like [Victor] Wanyama and [Virgil] van Dijk and Ki [Sung-Yeung].
“If they have that quality then it is a great platform for them to demonstrate that and then they know there is a better financial situation down south.”
The signing of 19-year-old Eboue Kouassi from Russian side Krasnodar appeared to signify the Northern’s desire to scour less utilised markets for under-the-radar talent.
And swooping for a teenage midfielder from Australian club Adelaide Olympic would follow the same trend. According to the Scottish Sun, Dundee legend Albert Kidd, the club’s technical director, has admitted that Celtic scouts had been tracking 18-year-old Riley McGree.
The fact the teenager was called up for the Australian national team after just 13 senior appearances speaks volumes about his potential and, ironically, he was given his opportunity to shine for the Socceroos due to an injury to Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic.
However, could the duo from Down Under be starting together in the Bhoys’ midfield next season? Either way, McGree certainly appears a perfect fit for Rodgers’ Celtic blueprint: young, talented and extremely affordable.
If they sell him on for seven figures in a few years’ time after a title or two, it will be another success for their transfer system.