Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Celtic have knocked back a “significant offer” for Moussa Dembele.
Speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of the Hoops’ Europa League play-off round match against FK Suduva at Celtic Park, Rodgers said: “We don’t want Moussa to go and I can’t see it happening.”
Rodgers did not name the club that made the offer, but reports in France suggest it was Lyon, who are understood to be willing to pay over £20 million to secure Dembele’s services.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed that his club had been in touch with the player, who had expressed an interest in returning to his homeland.
Aulas told RMC Sport tonight: “We need to find an agreement with Celtic for Dembele. It is very difficult with Celtic, we are going to continue to negotiate all night and tomorrow to bring in a new player.”
The 22-year-old hasn’t been included in the matchday squad for tonight’s match, and sat out training yesterday to hold talks over his future with his representatives and Peter Lawwell.
Rodgers also confirmed that Celtic are closing in on the signing of former Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, who is understood to be undergoing a medical this evening.
The Northern Irishman said yesterday that the club didn’t want the French striker to leave, adding: “Moussa and his representatives were speaking to the club today. He’s not a player we want to lose, he’s a phenomenal talent.
“He’s not going to be here forever. Like a lot of the European boys, they develop at a great club and look to move on.
“We don’t want to lose a top class player without having a replacement. There hasn’t been an official bid but there is interest. It’s the ‘what-if’ scenario.
“You always have to be prepared for that. That’s natural. It’s not an ideal situation, with a few days to go. “It’s one where we hope to ensure by the end of the window we are strong.”
Dembele and compatriot Olivier Ntcham have both been called up to the France Under-21 squad for the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Bulgaria in Stara Zagora and Luxembourg in Strasbourrg on September 7 and 11.