Brendan Rodgers has backed Moussa Dembele for a senior international call-up and admitted it will become increasingly difficult for Celtic to retain the services of the highly-regarded French striker.
Dembele, pictured right, is being tipped for inclusion in the full France squad for the first time next month when they face Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier and then play Spain in a high-profile friendly.
The 20-year-old has scored four goals in four appearances for the French under-21 side, including two in their most recent fixture against England last November. Dembele’s form for Celtic, with 23 goals so far this season and some eye-catching displays in the Champions League, have also raised his profile back in his homeland.
Celtic are bracing themselves for fresh interest in Dembele from English Premier League clubs this summer, following speculation linking him with a £40 million move to Chelsea last month, and manager Rodgers accepts money may eventually lure the player along a familiar path to the top flight south of the border.
“The experience of when you leave Celtic is there are not many bigger in the world in terms of the club or the supporters,” said Rodgers. “But there are of course different leagues and with the Premier League comes finance.
“It’s not that Celtic can’t keep them but if the player earns a certain amount of money and gets offered more, then the likelihood is they will go.
“Moussa has huge potential. I’ve worked with some really top young talents – Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Suso at Liverpool – and he’s certainly up there with the big talents.
“There’s no doubt in the next decade he’ll be leading France and being a real reference point for the full national team. If he keeps the mentality that he has now, which is to work, to improve and be better, then he can achieve whatever he wants to achieve.”