Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists he never tried to sign Celtic’s Moussa Dembele, despite reports linking the English Premier League leaders with a £40million move for the striker.
Dembele caused a brief stir on transfer deadline day when he was pictured on a flight to London amid the speculation over his future. It was quickly discovered he was travelling for a scan on his injured knee.
This didn’t stop rumours of a deal, as French publication L’Équipe went as far as to say Celtic had rejected £40million for a player they’d signed for £500,000 last summer.
Speaking to the media three days after deadline day, Conte revealed that he never wanted his club to try and sign Dembele, though he did admit interest in Celtic stopper Craig Gordon.
Conte tried to sign the Scotland international in order to let deputy goalkeeper Asmir Begovic leave for Bournemouth. Celtic retained a firm not-for-sale stance and the deal never got off the ground.
Conte said: “Honestly, for Dembele I never talked with my club about this player.
“With Gordon we tried because we tried to help Asmir Begovic to satisfy his request to go and play every game. But I always told him that if we were able to find a right solution, he could leave.
“For sure Gordon was one of the goalkeepers in the list to try to bring in here. We tried, but when the club told us it was not possible to sell, we finished.”