Celtic striker Moussa Dembele could be set for a move away from Parkhead as Brendan Rodgers’ second in command Chris Davies has admitted that the forward’s head has been turned by the recent transfer speculation, according to a report.
Speaking in The Scottish Sun, Davies said that with talk of a move to the English Premier League – Everton and Brighton being likely destinations – the eight-goal hitman has “been slightly affected by what is going on around him and the speculation,”
Rodgers’ number two added: “There is also an acceptance that maybe Moussa feels it is the right time for him to move on.
“When a player feels that way then there is not an awful lot of point in stopping them — unless you really have to. So that’s kind of how it’s evolved.”
The 21-year-old French attacker has long been considered one of Scottish football’s hottest properties, along with Kieran Tierney.
But there have been some suggestions that the 21 appearances he has made for the SPL side this term have not been as good as in the previous campaign when he notched up 32 goals.
Brighton were strongly tipped to be ready to swoop for the youngster, and a fee of £18million had been agreed, but that was rebuffed by the Seagulls manager Chris Hughton who denied there had been talks between the two parties.
Dembele was left on the bench for the Hoops return to action on Saturday – a 5-0 defeat of Brechin City – and is expected to be sidelined once more for Tuesday’s trip to Partick Thistle.
Football Insider verdict:
It would seem that the writing was on the wall for Dembele the moment Rodgers decided to keep him out of the starting line-up on Saturday. Once a player’s head has been turned, it’s very difficult to see anything other than a transfer in the making and it would seem to be the case here. During Dembele’s time in Scotland, he has shown his attacking capabilities time and time again and he is ready to test his talents in a more challenging league. The Premier League would allow him an opportunity to develop on every level – the only question would be which club would he be best suited to. You’d have to say that Everton have the financial backing and would easily be able to cough up the fee of £18m that has been touted but where would he fit in Sam Allardyce’s starting XI? Brighton would not necessarily be a step up for the Frenchman, but he would be guaranteed PL exposure as well as a starring role.
In other Celtic transfer news, the Hoops face a battle with PL club for signature of stylish defender.