European giants join race for for Celtic 20-year-old - report
By Matt Farr
Real Madrid are the latest high-profile admirers of Celtic goal sensation Moussa Dembele, according to a report.
The Spanish giants are believed to be plotting a move for the 20-year-old striker, who has stormed onto the European stage with Celtic this season.
The France U21 international has scored an incredible 27 goals from 41 appearances since arriving at Celtic in the summer, including back-to-back hat-tricks against St. Johnstone and Inverness earlier this month.
Real Madrid have reportedly asked to Celtic to keep them informed of any movements, so that they do not miss out on the opportunity to land one of Europe’s brightest young talents.
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Celtic remain reluctant to sell their star striker, however, having rejected an approach from Premier League leaders Chelsea last month.
Brendan Rodgers even slapped a £40million price-tag on his head in January in a bid to ward off potential suitors. However, with Dembele reaching new heights every week, Rodgers may be well aware that he won’t keep hold of him forever.
Real Madrid are not currently short of options in attack, but a move for Dembele in the summer could raise further doubts over the long-term futures of Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema.
Morata has made just 15 La Liga appearances this term since returning to the club from Juventus in the summer, and has been linked with the Bernabeu exit.
Football Insider verdict
No matter how valuable Dembele can be to Celtic’s future in the next few seasons, he is not likely to remain in Scotland for too long. His rise to fame has been astonishing and he will likely be rewarded with a high-profile move – providing a windfall for Celtic. The Premier League seemed the most likely option to begin with, but the interest from Real Madrid cannot be underestimated. For a player that was struggling to break into the first-team at Fulham a year ago, a move to Real Madrid would be a massive step; but one that he would no doubt relish in his current stride. Celtic will have to do very well to retain his services, but the thought of cashing-in for £30million-plus could be a tempting prospect.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rodgers has given his verdict on speculation linking the club with a move for this 29-year-old stopper.