Report: Celtic to spark £20m auction by offloading star, Real Madrid striker lined up to replace him
By Harry Sykes
Celtic are ready to offload star man Moussa Dembele and have lined up two strikers to replace him, according to a report.
The Sun on Sunday claim the Scottish giants are set to sell the prolific France Under-21 international to a Premier League club following his sensational debut campaign.
It is said that Dembele could spark a £20million auction between elite clubs south of the border, with Chelsea and Manchester United showing considerable interest.
The Sun report that Celtic are looking for a replacement for the French 20-year-old, with Chelsea’s Dominic Solanke and Real Madrid’s Dani Gomez on their radar.
It emerged earlier this week that Celtic are in the driving seat to sign Solanke after he rejected the newly-crowned Premier League champions’ offer of a new contract.
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Bookmakers Ladbrokes have priced the Scottish champions as hot favourites at 6/4 to land the 19-year-old before the forthcoming transfer window shuts.
The Sun report that Celtic are also keeping close tabs on Real Madrid B forward Gomez, 18, who has been capped by Spain at Under-19 level and would cost around £3million.
Dembele has been linked with a big-money move back to England after setting Scottish football alight in a debut campaign marked by key goals in marquee matches.
His haul of 32 goals from 49 games include a hat-trick on his Old Firm debut and a double against Manchester City in the Champions League.
Celtic are ready to take advantage of cross-border rules once again which would enable them to snap up Solanke at a fraction of his value, just as they did when landing Dembele on a free transfer last summer after his Fulham contract had expired.
Versatile forward Solanke is out of contract at the end of the season and could be signed by Celtic for a minimal compensation fee of just £300,000, while English clubs would have to pay around £8million.
He had a successful spell on loan at Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem last season, scoring seven goals in 25 league matches, but has spent the entirety of this campaign with the Chelsea youth squad.
He is reportedly keen to leave Stamford Bridge because of his place in the striker pecking order, where he is behind a host of international stars led by Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi.
In other Celtic transfer news, the club’s incoming big-money signing will cost more than Rangers’ entire summer transfer bill.