Celtic braced for late window bids as Marseille and Lyon eye Moussa Dembele ahead of transfer deadline
- Celtic expect to receive multiple bids for star striker Moussa Dembele
- French sides Marseille and Lyon are both likely to move for the 22-year-old
- Celtic will demand more than £20m for the former Fulham frontman
Celtic were bracing themselves on Tuesday night for big-money bids for striker Moussa Dembele from French giants Marseille and Lyon.
Respected Parisian sports journal L’Equipe claimed that Marseille have already contacted the Parkhead club over the France Under-21 international’s availability.
Parkhead sources on Tuesday contradicted that claim, insisting they have received no contact yet.
Celtic are expecting to receive multiple bids for star striker Moussa Dembele later this week
However, bids of between £15million and £20m are expected before Friday’s transfer deadline in Scotland – with 22-year-old Dembele said to be keen to return to his homeland.
Lyon are weighing up a move for the forward, too, after accepting an offer from Sevilla for Spanish-born Dominican striker Mariano Diaz. Real Madrid are also willing to pay the £35m asking price for Diaz.
With little or no time to secure a replacement for Dembele, Celtic would demand a fee in excess of £20m before discussing the sale of a striker who has been linked with an exit from the east end of Glasgow almost since the moment he arrived from Fulham for a knockdown fee of £500,000 in June 2016.
Portuguese giants Porto are also willing to pay £14m for Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, but the Scottish champions have slapped a ‘not for sale’ sign on the 22-year-old Frenchman who has emerged as one of their star men since signing from Manchester City in July last year.
The Parkhead club are plotting moves for between two and four new signings in the aftermath of Thursday night’s Europa League play-off second leg with FK Sudova at Celtic Park, with Brendan Rodgers’ side carrying an away-goal advantage after last Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Lithuania.
Marseille and Lyon are both likely to move for Dembele, who Celtic value at more than £20m
Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz and Leicester’s Croatian defender Filip Benkovic are among those on the club’s radar ahead of Friday’s deadline.
Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi is also on the wanted list but the Frenchman would cost in excess of £6m.
Manager Rodgers told Celtic TV on Tuesday night: ‘Our idea is hopefully to strengthen the squad. It’s just to support the players already here.
‘It is a long campaign, many games, many tournaments, so we want to try to improve. We’ll look at hopefully doing that over the next few days.’