Say what you want about Scottish football but there’s no denying that Celtic were phenomenal last season, with young striker Moussa Dembele making an instant impression at the club.
Dembele scored 32 goals in 49 appearances for the Bhoys, following a transfer from Fulham, which cost the Scottish champions just £500k, and The Daily Express states French giants Marseille have made an approach.
Marseille, who are looking to rise on the European stage once again following their takeover, used their pre-season friendly in Glasgow against Rangers as an opportunity to test the waters – but their offer of just £20m is significantly lower than Celtic’s value.
The French side will certainly have to raise their bid if they are to bring the 21-year-old French youngster to Ligue 1, especially as Celtic would prefer not to sell and the player himself is not angling for a move. Other big sides hold an interest in Dembele though and Marseille’s approach could open the floodgates for other interested parties to make a move of their own.
Moussa Dembélé’s season by numbers for Celtic:
48 games 🏃
32 goals ⚽️
6 assists 🅰️
3 hat-tricks 🎩
3 trophies 🏆
PFA Player of the Year. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/PdgYZ5uRu3
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 24, 2017
Celtic’s chances of keeping Dembele beyond the transfer window’s August 31st deadline seem increasingly unlikely but the same can be said regarding a move to Marseille, especially as the Scottish side will fight for a place in the Champions League whereas their French counterparts will not be involved.
Everton and AC Milan are also believed to be interested in Dembele, but are also unable to offer Champions League football, so Celtic’s chances of keeping the youngster likely hinge on their ability to navigate through the qualifiers – with their first tie coming tomorrow at Celtic Park.
Celtic play Rosenborg in the third-qualifying round and will then have to navigate past a play-off to make the group stage, with potential opponents for the play-off round including Partizan Belgrade, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiacos and Club Brugge.