MOUSSA DEMBELE departed Celtic in dramatic circumstance before the transfer deadline this evening.

The champions decided to accept Lyon’s bid of around £20million for the French striker to make sure his situation did not unsettle the dressing room.

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers said in a statement: “Every decision we make at Celtic will always be in the best interests of the club and our supporters.

“It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time.

“It has never happened. In fact, we have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday.

“However, this particular decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.

“The Board and myself are united and they have been very supportive to me on this issue.

“Our real focus now turns to Sunday’s match and beyond, working with our players here who are committed to doing all they can to ensure another successful season for the club.

“Finally, I would like to thank Moussa for his contribution in our last two seasons and want to wish him well in his new adventure at Lyon.”

The French outfit have offered a lucrative five-year deal to the former Fulham youngster who scored 51 goals for the Glasgow giants. He still had two years to run on his four-year contract, but it was decided not to stand his way as he wished to return to his homeland.

Dembele had been omitted from Rodgers’ squad that beat FK Suduva 3-0 in the Europa League play-off encounter last night to seal their place in the group stages where they will meet RB Leipzig, Salzburg and Rosenborg.


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