By support

6th Jan, 2017 | 11:09am

Celtic demand £30m for star striker, West Ham have held talks – report

By Emma Sanders

Celtic want £30 million for Moussa Dembele after they engaged in “informal” talks with West Ham, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claim West Ham have made contact regarding a £20million offer for Dembele but Celtic insist it was not a formal bid despite speculation on Thursday afternoon. They have reportedly slapped a £30m price tag on the player.

The Insider column on the club’s official website claimed the Hammers had made a “£20million bid for a player from Scotland” but Celtic have reportedly denied a concrete offer has been made.

The latest report suggests the two teams have “held talks” but Celtic are demanding a much higher fee than the one West Ham are believed to be willing to pay.

Dembele has been excellent since joining Celtic in the summer and he has already netted 19 goals in 36 games so far this season under Brendan Rodgers.

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The 20-year-old has been a key part of the Celtic team which has climbed to the top of the table in sensational style and they remain unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership.

The striker, who joined Fulham at the age of 16, was tipped to become the next Thierry Henry and he has already made an impression on the international stage after he picked up the France Under-21s Fans’ Player of the Year award.

Dembele scored a brace in the Champions League against Manchester City earlier this season and he could be the player the Hammers need to boost their way up the Premier League table.

Brendan Rodgers knows that he is unlikely to be able to hold onto his star striker for long, but will be hoping he can fend off interest from the Premier League until the summer at least.

Football Insider verdict:

Dembele has attracted a lot of interest from a number of Premier League clubs and it’s unlikely Celtic will be able to fend them off much longer, so it will come down to money. Rodgers will look to fend off suitors for as long as possible with huge transfer demands but eventually Celtic will have to accept defeat if clubs continue to pursue. They have already effectively won the Premiership title so the money could be used on bringing in some top talent to bolster their squad for European competition next year. Leigh Griffiths is still a threat so they would be able to cope without Dembele, though it would be a blow. West Ham are desperate for a striker that can provide goals and we can see this one going through if West Ham believe that he is worth the huge transfer fee.

In other Celtic news, fans react on Twitter to Dembele transfer speculation.