Football transfer news 2022, Riley McGree to join Middlesbrough, Ange Postecoglou to Celtic FC, Socceroos, EFL Championship

Rising Australian star Riley McGree has secured a blockbuster move to English second-tier side Middlesbrough, after former Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou failed to land the player at Celtic.

Postecoglou, who brought Socceroo, now seven caps, into the Australian senior side for the first time in 2017, tried to reunite with the attacking midfielder in Glasgow but were caught out at the last minute in a three-way transfer fight reported.

Now McGree will line up with innovative manager Chris Wilder at a club adamantly seeking promotion to England’s top flight, the Premier League.

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McGree, 23, made a name for himself as a youngster in the A-League Men with Adelaide United, Melbourne City and Newcastle Jets, before signing for expansion MLS franchise Charlotte FC in October 2020.

But the American club are not expected to play their first game in the competition until the start of the 2022 season next month. Charlotte immediately loaned McGree to English Championship side Birmingham City.

While he struggled for regular playing time at times under multiple managers, McGree showed a lot of promise and became popular with fans for his creativity and work-rate.

After three goals in 30 appearances in a year and a half, the Second Division club attempted to make the Australian’s loan move permanent last month but were unable to meet the American club’s asking price.

The news sparked a three-way bidding war between fellow Championship sides Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest and Ange Postecoglou’s Scottish giants Celtic.

Celtic reportedly got Charlotte to accept a £2.5m offer, before Middlesbrough offered a fee that could rise from £3m (A$5.7m) to £5m with additional modules.

As for McGree himself, the Daily Mail reported that the Socceroos salary would be around £14,000 (AUD 26,500) per week, with other reports raising the figure to £20,000 per week.

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Postecoglou was unfazed by the failed deal, saying, “It’s not a big deal for me. There are many footballers who would like to come to this football club. They are the ones I am looking for. »

Birmingham City currently sit 18th in the Championship, while McGree’s new club Middlesbrough are seeking promotion to the Premier League in seventh place. The top two teams are automatically promoted while the teams ranked third through sixth play for the third place promotion.

Boro is led by Chris Wilder, a gifted young manager with an excellent reputation for developing talented players and constant promotion. On a shoestring, Wilder guided Sheffield United from League One to the Premier League – and a ninth-place finish in their first season back in the top flight.

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Wilder joined a failed Boro in November and quickly reignited their promotion charge with an unbeaten December that earned him the manager of the month award. He has lost just one of the nine games in charge so far, with McGree joining the promotion hunters at an ideal time as he hopes to become Australia’s next Premier League player.

Wilder said of McGree’s signing: “We are delighted to bring Riley to the club. He’s another good young player who wants to do well, and he’ll fit in well with us.

“He did well during his loan spell at Birmingham, we’ve been watching him for a while, and when the opportunity came up for us to bring him to the club, we jumped on it.”

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