By Harvey Byrne
Manchester City could use Patrick Roberts as a bargaining chip in their pursuit of Celtic star striker Moussa Dembele, according to a report.
The Daily Star has claimed that while Arsenal and Liverpool are showing the most interest in the 20-year-old forward, City could also join the battle for the £20million-rated Hoops ace.
The striker has been in great form for the Hoops since joining from Championship side Fulham in the summer with a return of 17 goals in 30 appearances.
It is reported that City were impressed by him when they met in the Champions League, while they also have an advantage over their Premier League rivals.
Celtic currently have Roberts on an 18-month loan from the Etihad Stadium and it is believed that the Hoops would like to extend his deal for another year from next summer.
The 19-year-old has also been in impressive form for Brendan Rodgers’ side this season, providing six assists and scoring four goals in 23 fixtures.
The Scottish giants may be more open to getting a quality player in return for Dembele instead of just money, while City will also be able to shell out a large sum.
Football Insider verdict:
Patrick Roberts only has to look across the squad and see his team-mate Scott Sinclair to realise he won’t make it at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s outfit have the money to buy top quality ready made players when necessary and aren’t that interested in nurturing young talent. Roberts has so far made the best move for his career by moving to Celtic temporarily and his next decision should be to leave City permanently. The Hoops don’t necessarily play at the highest level in the Scottish Premiership, but he will learn a lot more playing in the Champions League than he would in City’s youth team. Celtic will find it very difficult to replace a player of Dembele’s quality and to get a proven player plus money for their star will prove to be the best deal for the Scotland giants.
In other Celtic transfer news, Vladimir Weiss has made a joke about the Hoops on Twitter regarding the Champions League draw.