FORMER Marseille boss Franck Passi has revealed the French club came close to signing Moussa Dembele before the striker chose Celtic in the summer.

The 20-year-old hitman netted 17 goals for Fulham in the Championship last season and a number of clubs wanted to sign him as he came to the end of his contract.

Brendan Rodgers won the race for his first signing as Hoops boss with Dembele agreeing a four-year deal and the London outfit picking up £500,000 in a development fee.
The powerful attacker has already matched last season’s goal total at Craven Cottage.
Passi, who was sacked by the French side in October, wanted Dembele to take over from Michy Batshuayi following his move to Chelsea.
He said: “I wanted Dembele to come to Marseille. We were looking for a replacement for Michy Batshuayi and among all the players we had mentioned there was Moussa.”

“I contacted his agent and he was very close to coming to Marseille.

“Then, finally, it did not happen…sometimes during transfers, things do not happen.”
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