Rodgers fears Dembele will leave

30 August 2018 19:14:17 GMTPlus10

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he wants to keep Moussa Dembele, who is being linked with both Marseille and Lyon.

The Ligue 1 clubs want to sign Dembele ahead of Friday's transfer deadline.

The 22-year-old Frenchman has scored 26 goals in 55 league appearances for Celtic since moving to Glasgow from Fulham two years ago.

Rodgers' side are involved in a Europa League play-off second leg encounter with Suduva on Thursday. Dembele is 1.57 to score at any time against the Lithuanian side while Celtic are available at 1.03 to qualify for the group stage of the competition.

"There's a lot going on with Moussa at the moment," Rodgers admitted. "Moussa and his representatives were at the club on Wednesday speaking with the club.

"There is speculation around him. Moussa is not a player we want to lose. There are ongoing discussions. There hasn't been an official bid as far as I'm aware, but interest.

"He's a phenomenal talent but he's not going to be here forever. Like a lot of the European boys, they develop at a great club and look to move on.

"We don't want to lose a top-class player without having a replacement. It's the 'what-if?' scenario. You always have to be prepared for that. It's not an ideal situation, with a few days to go."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had earlier confirmed he was keen to sign Dembele, saying: "Moussa Dembele is a target, yes. But I also read that Marseille were on it. Is it harder for them than for us? Yes, I think so."

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