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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018

Rodgers accepts £18 million-rated star striker may leave Celtic

Brighton’s reported bid for Moussa Dembele was surprising news to the Hoops boss.

Celtic forward Moussa Dembele.
Celtic forward Moussa Dembele.

BRENDAN RODGERS CAN offer no guarantees that sought-after striker Moussa Dembele will remain at Celtic beyond January.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has been linked with a host of potential Premier League suitors on the back of several brilliant performances since joining Celtic from Fulham 18 months ago.

It was reported by Sky Sports that Brighton and Hove Albion have agreed an £18million fee for Dembele, who has 40 goals in 68 appearances across all competitions for the Scottish Premiership champions.

Rodgers claimed he knew nothing of this speculation until he was quizzed by family members over the festive period, but accepts Celtic are always in a vulnerable position when it comes to their prized assets.

“I was made aware of that by some family members asking me if it was true or not,” he told BT Sport when asked about Dembele’s future.

It was the first I’d heard of it. At this stage he is still very much a Celtic player.

“When you’ve got good players and talented players… with all due respect, Celtic is a club that at times will lose some of the better players.

“But at this moment in time the squad is still very much intact and we want to add to it over the course of the January window.

I can never stand here and say someone is definitely going to be here because you could get a ridiculous bid for a player and a situation arises when they’re offered much more wages and they want to go.

“At this moment in time, the spirit of the group is very strong, they’re very happy and January will take its course.”

Dembele featured as a late substitute when Celtic secured a 2-0 win at Dundee on Tuesday, moving them 11 points clear at the summit.

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