Lyon join chase for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele

Lyon have joined league rivals Marseille in pursuing Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, according to reports in France.

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Les Gones are understood to have identified Dembele as a possible replacement for Mariano, who is expected to leave the club in the near future. The Spanish-born Dominican striker doesn’t appear to feature in Bruno Genesio’s plans for this season, and could exit the club before the end of the transfer window.

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Mariano could depart Ligue 1 for La Liga, with Sevilla understood to have verbally agreed a five-year deal with the 25-year-old, and provided Lyon can recoup around £36 million for the player, his departure could pave the way for an approach for Dembele.

Celtic forward Moussa Dembele is wanted by Lyon. Picture: John Devlin

However, L’Equipe is reporting that, while initial talks have taken place between the two clubs, the Hoops are reluctant to let Dembele go at this moment in time and a move is only likely to happen if the former PSG youngster is keen on a move to the Groupama Stadium.

Lyon are also targeting Lille winger Nicolas Pépé, who was the subject of a failed £12.5 million bid from Southampton and is attracting interest from the likes of Roma, Sevilla and Burnley, but failure to land the 23-year-old could see them ramp up their interest in Dembele.