Celtic confirm sale of Moussa Dembele to Lyon

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Celtic have accepted an offer for Moussa Dembele from Lyon, with the player set to sign a five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.

Reports in France claim a fee of around £20 million has been agreed. The Hoops had attempted to negotiate a deal that would see the France Under-21 international return to Parkhead on loan, but admitted defeat on Friday evening.

Moussa Dembele attended training at Lennoxtown on Friday morning - but wasn't there for long. Picture: SNS Group

Moussa Dembele attended training at Lennoxtown on Friday morning - but wasn't there for long. Picture: SNS Group

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers rejected the suggestion that the club had broken any promises made to the player, after the 22-year-old took to Twitter to post a cryptic message about the situation, and “liked” a number of tweets aimed at the Celtic hierarchy.

Rodgers said: “Every decision we make at Celtic will always be in the best interests of the club and our supporters.

“It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time. It has never happened.

“We have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday.

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“However, the decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.

“The board and myself are united and they have been very supportive to me on this issue.

“Our real focus now turns to Sunday’s match and beyond, working with our players here who are committed to doing all they can to ensure another successful season for the club.

“Finally, I would like to thank Moussa for his contribution in our last two seasons and want to wish him well in his new adventure at Lyon.”

The France Under-21 striker had attended training at Lennoxtown on Friday morning, but after a short and intense discussion with Rodgers he left the training complex after just 15 minutes.

According to L’Equipe, both Dembele and Rodgers had “reached a point of no return” while reports in France earlier on Friday claimed the Parkhead boss had urged Dembele to join Brighton in January.

Lyon lost 1-0 at home to Nice on Friday night, with Allan Saint-Maximin’s 50th-minute goal the difference.