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EPL 2016/17: Pep Guardiola refuses to rule out Moussa Dembele swoop

Published Dec 07, 2016
Dec 07, 2016 IST
Manchester City FC v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League : News Photo
Moussa Dembele is Europe’s next big thing

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has branded Celtic’s young striker Moussa Dembele as “exceptional” and refused to rule out a move for the Frenchman in the January transfer window. 

Earlier this season, Dembele scored twice as he helped Brendan Rodgers’s side end City’s 100% win record, holding them to a 3-3 draw at Celtic Park. City didn’t win in six straight games following the draw in Glasgow. 

Dembele, 20, has scored 17 goals in an impressive start to his life at Parkhead. The Bhoys, in their first season under the stewardship of Rodgers, have already won the Scottish League Cup, beating Aberdeen 3-0 in the final on November 27th. In addition, the Hoops are eight points ahead of second-placed Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, despite having played three games less than their fierce Old Firm rivals. 

The Spanish manager said, "If you read the newspapers in the last six months, since I became a coach at Manchester City, maybe I have had contact with 126 players to buy them for Manchester City.”

He added, “But the quality (in Dembele) is there. He is an exceptional player.”

Also read: Manchester City 1-1 Celtic - Player Ratings

But Guardiola’s Celtic counterpart, Brendan Rodgers said that there was no reason for Celtic to sell him. Rodgers had signed him in the summer for £500,000 from English Championship side, Fulham, where Dembele progressed through the academy ranks. 

Rodgers though concurred with Guardiola’s description of Dembele. He said, “Yeah, he is. If you watch Moussa and his development since he has come to Celtic, it has been great for everyone.”

Rodgers was excited by what Dembele had to offer for Celtic. “He is only 20, and there is a lot more to come from him. But there is lot for him to learn and improve upon. He is level-headed, very grounded. That is the best thing about it. He clearly knows what he wants to achieve.”


The Northern Irishman added, “He was a sought-after player but he wanted to come and work at Celtic. He wanted to play at the highest level he could, which was the Champions League, and he has been able to do that.”

Dembele had joined Celtic in the summer from Fulham. He had scored 15 goals in his 56 games for the West London outfit. Ahead of another transfer window where he could be on the move, Dembele will look to impress potential suitors with a few more big performances. 

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