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Dembele Unlikely to Play against Rangers, Claims Rodgers

Celtic midfielder Moussa Dembele has had his head turned by a bid from Lyon and he is unlikely to feature in the upcoming old firm derby with Rangers, according to manager Brendan Rodgers. The manager went on to reveal that Dembele has not been part of the full training session on Friday after learning about the offer from Lyon. Dembele has made no secret that he would like to join the French club, who are a big name compared with Celtic. Lyon will be able to offer him European football on a regular basis unlike Celtic, whose likelihood of reaching the Europa League is not certain.

Dembele has been a major hit at Celtic after coming to the club in the summer of 2016 from Fulham. His first season at the club saw him come up with 32 goals and nine assists in 49 matches. Last season, however, was a disappointment with Dembele out being injured for more often than not. Yet, he still returned with figures of 16 goals and nine assists in 39 appearances. Lyon entered into the race to sign Dembele at the last moment after losing their centre forward to Real Madrid. The possibility of regular first-team football in the French league could be hard to turn down for the player, who was last seen in the French league back in 2012 when he represented the under 17 team of PSG.

"It's very important I protect the environment. It's best for him to be inside. At this time of the season there is always a narrative around players and agents trying to force moves. It is disappointing.“ I would be disappointed if it was [aimed] at myself.There is no doubt that looking at them and analysing“them, that Steven has done a very good job.He has pulled together a lot of players and they are clear in how they work,” said Rodgers ahead of the Rangers game.