Celtic braced for January battle to keep Dembele

Celtic are bracing themselves for a number of Premier League bids for striker Moussa Dembele in January.

The Bhoys are desperate to keep hold of the French striker, who has lit up the Scottish league since he joined last summer.

The 21-year-old has over two-years left on his current deal – but the interest from England is strong, and Celtic know it would be hard to turn down a big money offer.

Speaking of his future, Dembele said: “I can say it is part of the plan [to stay] but the plan can change.

“It can change. As long as I am here I will give 100% but I don’t until when. I just focus on my football and give my best for the club and we will see.”

Football INDEX Watch – Moussa Dembele – At £1.87, just outside the top 50

Sources close to the situation have told me that Dembele won’t try and force a move, but a move to the Premier League could open up the possibility of him making a late bid to be part of France’s World Cup squad, something which looks unlikely if he stays at Celtic.

I understand that Sam Allardyce believes Dembele would be a very good option for Everton, but they are not the only interested party as a host of Premier League clubs are keeping tabs on his situation.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham West Ham and Brighton are all understood to be keeping tabs on his situation.

The former Fulham striker also has strong interest from abroad, in both his native France and Spain – but it is believed he would favour a return to England.

Bookmakers make Chelsea favourites to land Dembele, with BetVictor making them 5/1.

BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt commented: “The player is still on the radar of a number of clubs and it will be interesting to see whether any take a chance and persuade him to leave the SPL.

“Chelsea are understandably 5/1 favourites but he has been linked with West Ham and Brighton, who are both 6/1. The Premier league pair may see him as the man to preserve their top flight status. Celtic are still setting the standard north of the border and may feel the time is right to cash in their prized asset whilst they are still going well without him playing that significant a role this term.”


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