I knew Moussa Dembele would stay at Celtic beyond the January transfer window and I was thinking he’d actually make it into a second season at Parkhead.
I think the young striker is well grounded and isn’t all about the money. So a move to the English Premier League to a club that isn’t going to guarantee him a lot of first-team football or to a mid-table side wouldn’t really float his boat.
But today, reports suggest that German giants Bayern Munich could make a move for the hitman in the summer and are ready to offer £30m for his services.
That particular suitor could worry Celtic fans and their gaffer Brendan Rodgers.
See Bayern are a top, top club (In an Alan McInally voice). Unlike the likes of Chelsea and Man United, they won’t splash that kind of cash on a player that won’t be ready for their first team.
Dembele wouldn’t just walk straight into the first eleven but there will be a route into the starting line-up and he will be given plenty of chances to prove himself.
The Celtic star will look at the impact fellow French youngster Kingsley Coman had at Bayern in his debut season and believe he could replicate that success. Coman hasn’t had the best time of it this term but he has been out for a few months with a knee injury.
One thing Dembele would probably have to do is adapt his game and maybe embrace a wider role.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are both in their mid-thirties now and obviously that means that they then suffer from more injures and need more rest time. So that could be a route into the first team.
I think when you look at Dembele’s short career so far, you can see by the way he plays and the fact he’s played in a two or up-top by himself, that he’ll be happy to learn in Munich and play in a different role if asked.
Now Robert Lewandowski is the main man when it comes to Bayern strikers at the moment. But they don’t really have a natural replacement that offers something different.
Thomas Muller can play in the role but the German international often looks out of place as a central striker and gives more options on the right or playing in behind his Polish teammate Lewandowski.
Coman is another who can play through the middle but he’s not as convincing in there as Dembele would be.
So with ‘Der FCB’ playing so many games in a season, it might make sense to bring in another forward to add completion and be there when Robert Lewandowski needs a rest or picks up an injury.
All in all it could be a great move for Dembele.
Why would Bayern want Him?
Well he has pace, determination and has a keen eye for goal.
He showed in the Champions League games against Borussia Monchengladbach and Man City, that he has the ability to cause problems against Europe’s elite.
In Scotland he has been in sensational form for most of this season. He has bagged thirteen league goals and created five assists in twenty-three appearances (15 starts). In all competitions he has amassed twenty-four strikes in thirty-four fixtures.
in his three Old Firm encounters this term, Dembele has relished the occasion and scored five times. That included a wonderful hat-trick in his Old Firm debut.
His form has seen him receive a call-up for the French under-21s and he’s made that step-up with ease, scoring four goals in four games. That has led to speculation that Didier Deschamps is ready to have a look at him by calling him into senior Les Bleus squad.
So why would Celtic sell him?
Well firstly I can only imagine that when signing the player, they assured him that they would sell him for the right price to a club that he’d like to sign for. So it could be up to him when he leaves.
Plus let’s not forget that £30m would be a huge deal for Celtic, the current highest transfer fee received at the Glasgow club is £13m!
Say they give Brendan Rodgers 60% or 70% of that fee then he would have around £18m-£21m to spend on enhancing his squad and getting them back into the Champion League group stages next season and possibly fighting for a last sixteen spot.
Celtic know that the bigger leagues in Europe are trying to squeeze the other sides out of the competition. So if they can bring in signings that can help cause a few upsets in Europe, it might show the elite that a strong Celtic can compete in the Champions League.
Rodgers has already stated that he believes the Hoops are at a stage where they can break their own transfer record (£6m) soon. With the Dembele cash they could easily double that record with the right player.
“But we need players who want to take Celtic forward. Whether they are a million quid, £6million, £7million or whatever, the club know I will bring that to them.”
That deal would also allow Brendan to keep everyone else at the club, in particular Kieran Tierney.
Undoubtably they would miss the striking instincts of Moussa Dembele but if they can spend that cash wisely then they’d have a better squad ready for a Champions League challenge.
It’s important to emphasise that Celtic won’t be actively trying to sell their star striker. It will be for a huge fee and only to a club that the player sees as being the right side for him.
So don’t be surprised if he stays on at Celtic Park beyond this season, it all depends on who comes in for him. I’d imagine that the lure of Bayern Munich would be too good an opportunity for Dembele to turn down and a £30m fee would probably be very acceptable to the Celtic board.