SCOTT SINCLAIR has told Moussa Dembele not to be in a rush to quit Celtic.
The French Under-21 international striker has been linked with a host of big-name clubs since his impressive goalscoring performances at the Hoops following his summer move from Fulham.
But Sinclair, 27, has told his frontline partner to bide his time before making a career-changing decision.
The Englishman said: “‘I have spoken to him before about decisions. It all comes down to his decision.
“My experiences are not those of other players. They are mine. When you look at England, there are not many players of a young age playing with the top three clubs, week in and week out.
“If Moussa is happy here – and he is playing and scoring – then you cannot get anything better than that. At the back of his head, he will still have the dream to play for a Barcelona or a Real Madrid or whatever, but it is all about timing.
“You have to wait for the right time and when the time comes – and it may be in three or four years – then you are mature and can have a better chance of making the team and staying in it.
“The experience of some is that they are young, go to a big-time club and it does not work out.”
Sinclair should know what he is talking about. He has played for Chelsea and Manchester City, but has also been on loan at Plymouth Argyle, Wigan Athletic, West Brom and Birmingham City.
He enjoyed a successful period at Swansea City – with Brendan Rodgers as his manager – but endured the agonies of being relegated with Aston Villa last season. Now the left-sided attacker is being acclaimed at the Hoops.
He agreed a four-year deal with the champions in the summer and admitted: “I came to Celtic for a reason. This is what I have really wanted.
“I could have easily stayed down south. I could have taken an easier route, but I still have the hunger to keep producing, keep doing well.
“I want to be the best I can be as a footballer. I still have that in me. There are plenty of players who have earned the same as me and lost the love – but I have still got that in me.
“I feel I have had responsibility throughout my career, since being an 18-year-old at Chelsea. I have played with world-class players and I have dealt with it. With me, it is all about performing.
“I have been through a helluva lot in my career. I have played for some of the best clubs in the English Premier League, that is the positive.
“The negative? I got relegated with Aston Villa, so I have been through it. I have to tell my experiences to the young players and we have so many of them in their early twenties.”
Sinclair, who lives in the west end of Glasgow with his celebrity partner, Helen Flanagan, the actress and model, and their 18-month-old daughter, revealed: “Yeah, I feel the love here.
“Obviously, I am not earning the same as I was at City, but the main thing is that I am playing and I am happy. I am enjoying it and you can see that on the pitch. I am playing, scoring goals and we are winning.
“I settled in so quickly here. Everyone made me welcome and I haven’t looked back. I always knew Celtic was a massive club. But now I am here I am just realising how big it actually is – 60,000 fans behind you is unbelievable.
“The thing is up here everyone is football mad. Everywhere you go there are Celtic fans.”
Sinclair will experience the fervour again when he walks out at Ibrox this afternoon.
He scored in Celtic’s 5-1 win over Mark Warburton’s side in September and added: “That was one of the best atmospheres I have played in.
“I spoke to a lot of people beforehand about it, but you still can’t put it into words. No-one can explain it. It is the magnitude of if it. When you are on the pitch, you can feel it. You can feel the whole crowd.”
Sinclair is ready to play his part in this Hogmanay fixture as he helps the Hoops bring down the curtain on an impressive first half of Brendan Rodger’s debut campaign.