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RODGERS ACCEPTS DEMBELE EXIT

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CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers accepts Moussa Dembele will leave the champions when an appropriate bid is made.

And the French Under-21’s 45-minute display when he made his first appearance of the season against Sparta Prague on Tuesday suggests he is poised for an action replay of his remarkable debut season at the Hoops after his £500,000 move from Fulham.

Dembele notched 32 goals, but injury setbacks hampered him in his second term and he finished with 16 strikes.

However, Rodgers is looking for the 21-year-old frontman to show the form that rocketed him into the £30million-plus category during his first campaign.

The Parkhead chief said: “What I know with Moussa is that nothing affects him, really. I think there was a little period in my time, but, apart from that, he’s been absolutely brilliant. He is really focused and he’s a good boy.

“He knows it (a big move) will come for him at some point and that there is nothing he can do other than work hard in training and play well in games.

“He’s done that for the majority of time I’ve been at the club. He can only play well, work hard and see what happens.’

Dembele scored the only goal of the game against Sparta when he used his pace and power to race past a defender on to a cute through ball from James Forrest to rocket in an angled drive.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier against Alashkert in Armenia, Rodgers added: “Moussa is a really happy boy and he’s a great boy to work with. I love him.

“He has a belief that he is a player and that is important because you need to have that personality.

“But it is handy when you back it up. That’s what I look for. Moussa backs it up and shows it on the field.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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