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Football

31st Aug 2018

Celtic set to lose Moussa Dembele two days before Old Firm derby

Patrick McCarry

There was always a chance of this happening once Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League.

Celtic and Moussa Dembele were never destined to last long together.

Having arrived from Fulham in 2016, the French striker hit the ground sprinting and scored 32 goals in 49 appearances. In the summer of 2017, he was linked with a move away but Celtic offered him an improved salary deal and he hung around.

In every transfer window since his arrival, the 22-year-old was linked with a move away from Celtic Park. He only scored 16 in 39 games last season but Brendan Rodgers was more than pleased with his returns and he chipped in with eight assists too as Celtic claimed another trophy treble.

Celtic

Once Rodgers’ men missed out on the Champions League group stages, the (transfer) vultures were circling. Ahead of Sunday’s ‘Old Firm’ clash with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, Rodgers admitted it was ‘highly unlikely’ that Dembele would feature.

L’Equipe are now reporting that Dembele is off to Lyon, in Ligue 1, after Celtic accepted a €20m deal for the forward. The French league’s transfer window closes at midnight and Lyon look to have got their man.

Dembele was left out of Celtic’s squad to face Suduva in Thursday’s Europa League qualifier but Rodgers claimed he was not expecting his player to leave the club. The France U21 showed up to training on Friday but left the session after only 15 minutes after a discussion with his manager.

Celtic face Rangers at Celtic Park from 1pm on Sunday, September 2 in the first derby clash of the Scottish Premiership season.

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