Celtic eager to keep Dembele from Lyon as Rodgers bemoans ability to ‘build something’

The Hoops have seen interest build in their French striker, with the man in charge at Parkhead hoping to see any bids for another star turn fended off

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is hoping to see Moussa Dembele remain at Parkhead, but admits discussions have been opened regarding a potential sale.

The 22-year-old striker has enjoyed a productive opening to the 2018-19 campaign, netting three times in six appearances to date.

Those strikes have built on an impressive haul of 48 efforts across his two previous seasons in Glasgow.

Dembele has long been a forward in demand, with Arsenal and Manchester United among those to have been linked with his signature in the past, and a return to his native France at Lyon is now being mooted.

Rodgers has conceded that a deal may be done, telling reporters when offering an update on a prized asset: “We don’t want to lose Moussa. We make that known.

“He’s not one we want to lose, but it’s something that has come up and he and his representatives have asked to explore that. Which is natural.”

Celtic have found themselves swimming against the tide in the transfer market for a number of years, with star turns often lured away from Glasgow after enhancing their reputation.

Rodgers admits to finding that situation frustrating, with it difficult for him to establish continuity and challenge outside of Scotland when his plans are continuously having to be revised.

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The former Swansea and Liverpool boss added: “It’s no secret. It’s very difficult to build something here because every two years it is going to be recycled. That’s the way it is.

“Of course, you’d love to be able to say we want to keep some of these players for five, six or seven years, but it’s not the reality, especially now when players can get offered three or four times the money they are on here. It’s a really short career.

“There’s always something as a manager. They say about football management that you’re always ‘in it’. It just depends how deep – ankle deep, knee deep or neck deep! You’ve just got to keep it as low as you can.”

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