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Arsenal jet out on scouting mission to assess Champions League hero - report

By Will Butcher

Arsenal sent scouts to Parkhead on Wednesday night to watch Celtic forward Moussa Dembele star against Manchester City, according to a report.

The Sun claim that the Gunners’ scouts were in attendance during the enthralling 3-3 draw, but Wenger faces competition from Real Madrid, Tottenham and Bayern Munich for the signature of the 20-year-old.

It is said Arsene Wenger is a long-term fan of his fellow countryman and tried to sign striker Dembele before Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers swooped in to pull off a major transfer coup.

The France under-21 international was the Hoops’ star man against Pep Guardiola’s City, as he bundled home the Scottish Champions’ first goal inside three minutes before putting Rodgers’ side 3-2 up with a superb overhead kick.

Celtic’s number 10 has hit the ground running in Glasgow, scoring 12 goals in 16 league and cup encounters with eight of those strikes coming in his last six appearances.

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Formerly of Paris Saint Germain’s youth team, Dembele made the move to England in 2012 by signing with Fulham.

He made his debut in the Premier League, but found form as the Cottagers were relegated; 17 goals in all competitions during the 2015/16 campaign saw Europe’s heavyweights come calling, including Arsenal.

But the pacy striker, who is strong in the air and can also hold up the ball as a target man, decided to move to a club where he knew first-team opportunities would be available.

An Arsenal move for Dembele could spell the end of another Frenchman in Olivier Giroud, after the signing of Spanish striker Lucas Perez.

In other Arsenal transfer news, this striker is also on Wenger’s January shortlist.