Rodgers: If we sell Moussa Dembele we’ll need new striker

Celtic's Moussa Dembele  was an unused sub against Partick Thistle. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Celtic's Moussa Dembele was an unused sub against Partick Thistle. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Brendan Rodgers maintained last night that any movement over Moussa Dembele in the final days of the transfer window would require to be accompanied by the arrival of a new striker.

The Celtic manager, right, became testy over the fact the Frenchman was left on the bench for the second time in a week as his team opened up an 11-point lead at the top of the Premiership by coming from a goal down at half time to register a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill. The victory was earned by a decisive goal from Leigh Griffiths, introduced at the interval to partner Odsonne Edouard the day after Celtic assistant Chris Davies had said that Dembele may feel the time is right to move on. Rodgers rejected the notion that 
Griffiths had served a reminder as to his claim for game time.

“I don’t think anyone needs reminding,” he said. “It is a big issue with you guys. We know what we have and we know what Leigh can do. If Moussa
comes on we know what he can do. I thought young Odsonne was excellent.

“If Moussa goes we need to bring in another one. Simple. Players need competition and we need to be competitive. I think you have asked about Moussa enough since January. If you ask about him you need to ask about Jozo [Simunovic] and the other players.

“I think I have done OK in picking the best team to win since I came here. Try to have a little bit of respect for the team I pick. We have only lost one of our last 76 [domestic] games.

“If Moussa is in our squad then great, if he is not we will see by the end of January. His behaviour is fine, there is no issue and no dramas. We are here to win games and I will pick the team I think is best to do that.”