BRENDAN RODGERS admitted today that Celtic had now received a bid for Moussa Dembele but it had been rejected by the club. The manager also revealed that the the French under 21 internationalist has NEVER asked to leave Celtic.
Dembele has not featured in the two games Celtic have played since returning from the winter break. He has been an unused substitute on Saturday against Brechin City in the Scottish Cup and again on Tuesday as Celtic came from a goal down to win the points at Firhill.
Rodgers and his assistant Chris Davies both spoke about how the transfer speculation could be affecting the player and it has been widely thought that Celtic are preparing themselves to sell the player should any of his suitors match their valuation of the exciting striker.
Today the latest rumour is that Italian giants Roma are circling ready to bid and the largely uninformed clickbait sites have Crystal Palace as the latest English side ready to fork up the asking price.
One thing that hasn’t been reported in all of this is that the player’s agent was a few months ago openly discussing the prospect of Dembele being happy to sign a new and improved long term contract to remain at Celtic. It seemed that that opportunity had passed but maybe not.
Today Brendan said there was no news on players coming in but confirmed that efforts were ongoing.
“Nothing to report as of yet. A lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and ensure we bring in the right quality to help us move forward,” he stated. ON Dembele the Irishman conformed that a bid had now come in and was swiftly rejected.He also cleared up any speculation concerning the player actively seeking a move.
“Moussa has never once asked to leave Celtic. We’ve had one official bid for him that’s nowhere near our value of Moussa. He’s an extremely talented young player and we are not interested in selling him.”
Brendan was speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit from Hibernian to Celtic Park. Neil Lennon has denied Celtic of four points in the two draws this season in the league – Celtic won the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden in the other meeting between the sides this season.
And Rodgers is full of praise for the Hibs boss who may well be appearing as a Podcast guest very soon indeed – stay tuned!
“Neil’s got a very good football side there. He’s an outstanding manager so he wants them to work in a certain way,” Brendan said.
He’s got good players that play good football. They are competitive so we anticipate it will be a tough game.”
Celtic rescued a point with a late equalizer in the 2-2 draw at Celtic Park before throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw at Easter Road – and it could have been even worse that day after an uncharacteristic howler from Craig Gordon gave Hibs a golden chance to win the game. Lustig came to the rescue though (for those with the shorter memories).
“Our last game at Easter Road was a disappointing draw for us on the back of a good performance. Tough team to play against and we’ll expect a tough game on Saturday,” Brendan said.
“The attitude and energy of some players here at training has been fantastic but they haven’t been playing. I can only choose 11 players. We try to pick the best team to win the game and that’ll be no different at the weekend.”
Meanwhile poor old Scotty Sinclair is having a rotten season, isn’t he?
“All the criticism doesn’t really bother me. You’re always going to get criticised after winning awards last year. For me it’s just to stay focused and keep doing what I’m doing,” Scotty said.
“With all the critics saying I’m having a poor season with 17 goals, it only spurs me on to do even better.”
Scotty will be in the team on Saturday as usual and don’t bet on his adding to his own personal hellish season by bagging an other goal or two. He is, just like his gaffer, full of praise for Neil Lennon’s men.
“They are a good side. Every time we’ve played against them it’s been an exciting game. They come out and attack and they’ve got some good players. It’s up to us to perform well and make sure we win,” Scotty said.
“I want to keep scoring goals, creating chances and helping the team win games. If I can keep doing that and keep performing then that’s all I can do.”
Scotty, you are awful, but we like you!
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