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‘DEMBELE IS THE REAL DEAL,’ THIERRY HENRY

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MOUSSA DEMBELE has emphasised his commitment to Celtic as the champions distanced themselves from reports of an unsuccessful £40million bid from Chelsea.

The Hoops were adamant last night interest from the London club had not been firmed up into an offer which would have shattered the Scottish transfer record. But make no mistake, the interest from Chelsea was real and it was direct.

In all likelihood they will be back in the summer and they might have company. This window will be remembered for the time that Brendan Rodgers changed Celtic from a bargain basement shop for the Premier League into a club that will ONLY sell if the price is right, fair and reasonable.
Rodgers has ensured that there will be no more £50million players leaving for £12million and Celtic had the courage to back him in this stand.img_2553.jpg
Dembele, in his remarkable tweet, let the Parkhead fans know he was happy he wasn’t going anywhere.
The French Under-21 striker has been in the spotlight since his £500,000 move from Fulham in the summer.
He has claimed 20 goals already and there is an outside chance he will play against Aberdeen this evening if he can satisfy boss Brendan Rodgers he has fully recovered from his troublesome ankle knock.
Chelsea are just one of the big-money English outfits casting envious glances in his direction and his fellow-Frenchman Thierry Henry had his say on top-flight clubs for missing out on such a talent.

The Arsenal legend said: “It’s a massive mistake from the teams in the Premier League. He was playing for Fulham.

“That’s bad from whoever’s going to get him because he was there and, by the way, just down the road from Chelsea.

“That’s the price – £40million – you’re going to have to pay now and you know, we can all talk about is he worth it or not, you have to pay.

“We knew what he could do at Fulham. I was very shocked no-one in the Premier League came in for him.

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“He’s a great guy, he can score goals, he’s doing well for the France Under-21s and there is talk about him going to the national team.

“You know what you are going to get and he knows the English game. He’s never played in the Premier League, but if you can play and score goals in the Championship and in Scotland then you know about the physicality of the game here.

“Antonio Conte is thinking about the future, maybe thinking if he has a problem with Diego Costa at the end of the season. It’s about building at Chelsea and he’s a young lad.”

The Stamford Bridge outfit didn’t come in with a third bid for keeper Craig Gordon – dropping their interest after Asmir Begovic’s move to Bournemouth collapsed.

Rodgers had categorically stated on Monday that the Scotland international would play in goal against the Dons tonight and deadline day passed without that being put to the test.

The 34-year-old’s representatives will now meet with Celtic officials to thrash out a new improved deal.

Erik Sviatchenko and Nir Bitton were also the subject of inquiries from English clubs yesterday, but Celtic informed them they were not for sale.

Now, with all the transfer speculation out of the way, Celtic can now concentrate on a domestic treble.

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