Celtic sells $23m Dembele to Lyon ahead of Old Firm match
The Old Firm Derby will have a new feel on Sunday, relatively speaking, after Celtic announced it will not keep hold of Moussa Dembele, the electric attacker who scored seven goals in eight matches against Rangers.
The 22-year-old is off to Lyon, netting Brendan Rodgers’ side $23 million. Celtic signed Dembele on a free transfer.
[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester vs. Liverpool ]
Dembele left Fulham for Celtic in 2016, helping the Bhoys to a pair of Scottish crowns while scoring 46 goals with 18 assists.Rodgers was not excited to announce the sale. From CelticFC.net:
“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. In fact, 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.
“However, this particular 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.
Celtic will enter the derby one point ahead of Rangers and three behind leaders Aberdeen. They signed former West Brom man Youssouf Mulumbu and Leicester City’s Filip Benkovic on loan.
Rangers have flipped their roster under Steven Gerrard, with Roma’s Umar Sadiq and Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria and Ryan Kent on loan. Rangers also bought Hearts’ Kyle Lafferty.