BRENDAN RODGERS has sent a warning to envious English clubs who are looking at his players: “There will be no bargains at Celtic!”
The champions have brought in £13million for centre-half Virgil van Dijk, £10million for goalkeeper Fraser Forester and £12.5million for midfielder Victor Wanyama – all sold to Southampton in recent seasons.
But the Irishman has no intention of being tempted by these sort of fees.
Classy Dutchman Van Dijk is now being pursued by Manchester City and Chelsea for £50million only 18 months after he left Parkhead.
Now Rodgers believes Celtic should be selling their best players direct to England’s big guns for huge fees, cutting out middle-men such as Southampton.
Moussa Dembele has been talked about in the region of £20 to £30million mark, but Rodgers insisted: “The team that comes in for Moussa isn’t buying the Scottish league. They’re buying the player.
“I hear people talk about players going from certain countries, but the club isn’ t buying the country.
“So, the value is about the player, it doesn’t matter what league he’s in.
“If a club wants to cash in on a player because they are struggling and need the money — and the player could go cheaper than the value actually is — then fine.
“Listen, there comes a point where, through no fault of the club, there’s a natural evolution where the player moves on.
“Morally, it’s very difficult also to stop that.
“Even if a club offered what we thought was he is worth, we don’t need to do it.
“But we’re not anywhere near that point. The player is very happy and I see him working and I see him developing.
“Moussa is looking forward now to this next six months where it’s about becoming better.”
The French Under-21 striker – with 19 goals in this campaign – remains calm about the prospect of spending at least another six months with Celtic and Rodgers added: “Moussa is a boy with an incredible belief in his ability, but he backs it up.
“What I love about him as a 20-year-old boy is that he lives and breathes football.
“He doesn’t waste his time doing stupid things. He prepares well and comes into training as the most laid-back guy in the world.
“But when he trains, he trains — and when he works, he works. And when you ask him about a game on TV, he watched it.
“He hasn’t been on an Xbox or out doing something.
“Moussa loves football. It’s his life and that’s why I think when he leaves Celtic he’ll go on to a big stage.
“Just, hopefully, not for a wee bit of time yet.”
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