Dembele on Celtic transfer: This Hoops star convinced me to make move

By Alex Stevens

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Moussa Dembele has revealed that former Fulham colleague Patrick Roberts persuaded him to make a shock move to Celtic.

The French striker has put pen to paper on a four-year Hoops contract after jetting into Glasgow to undergo a medical on Tuesday.

Celtic have been able to secure the France Under-20 international for compensation fee of just £250,000 as his Fulham contract expires at the end of the month.

The 19-year-old will join up with his new team-mates for pre-season training in Slovenia and will join forces with fellow teenager Roberts, who left Fulham for Manchester City in an £11million deal last summer before joining Celtic in January on an 18-month loan deal.

“I spoke to Patrick Roberts yesterday about the club and he told me good things about it but my mind was already made up,” Dembele said on Tuesday night, as quoted by the official Celtic Twitter account. “At Celtic I know I can win trophies and play European football, and it’s a massive club as well, so it feels good.”

The signing of Dembele is manager Brendan Rodgers’ first for the club and represents a huge coup as some of Europe’s biggest clubs have been monitoring the youngster.

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It’s a massive thing to come to this club and to be Rodgers’ first signing is something unreal for me,” Dembele told the Celtic Twitter feed.

The 19-year-old was hailed as the next Thierry Henry when he joined Fulham from Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 initially on a three-year contract. The deal was extended by a further 12 months last summer when both parties decided to trigger the option of a 12-month extension.

Dembele had a medical at Tottenham in the January transfer window but the deal collapsed and he returned to west London.

Football Insider revealed in February that Dembele had rejected a contract offer from Fulham that would have quadrupled his wages.

Fulham will now only recoup the £250,000 fee they paid for the Frenchman due to Fifa rules for players moving overseas as opposed to staying in England.

In other Celtic news, the Scottish giants have been told to increase their offer for a key Premier League target.