MOUSSA DEMBELE could face Celtic in a prestigious eight-team tournament before the August 1 start to the new Premiership campaign.
The former Hoops hitman is likely to line up for Lyon in a pre-season competition organised by the French giants who signed the powerhouse attacker for £19.8million in August 2018.
Paris Saint-Germain and St Etienne have already reportedly agreed to play in the inovative set-up while traditional preparatory tours face obstacles because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions and quarantine rules.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is eager for his club to host a top-class tournament next month.
Team boss Rudi Garcia, in a media report, said: “The plan is for eight teams to play at the Groupama Stadium in two groups of four.
“It will include mainly French clubs, but also hopefully teams from countries who had their leagues stopped early, too, like Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands.”
Supremo Aulas added: “This is an idea that would give all the teams involved serious preparation for the new season by having a competitive tournament.
“And there would also be a second tournament for women’s teams of the invited clubs, as well.”
As CQN revealed at the weekend, Neil Lennon is considering the possibility of going abroad before the new season and the Lyon competition would offer the intriguing match-up with Dembele and his countryman Odsonne Edouard.
The ex-Celtic hitman, signed by Brendan Rodgers from Fulham in the summer of 2016, is still being linked with a megabucks move to either Premier Legaue giants Manchester United or Chelsea.
The transfer window for top-flight clubs across the border is likely to stretch from August to the end of October.