BRENDAN RODGERS has admitted it is “highly unlikely” Moussa Dembele will play in Sunday’s High Noon Old Firm shoot-out with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

Celtic rejected a “significant” bid from Lyon for the French striker last night and the player sat out the crucial 3-0 Europa League play-off win to win a place in the group stages.

Rodgers said tersely: “Moussa was in today with the squad, but nothing further.”

The former Under-21 frontman, two years into a four-year contract, made a brief appearance on the Lennoxtown training pitch before retreating indoors.

The Hoops boss added: “It’s very important that I protect the environment. as well. We have to have everyone working.

“He was best to be inside this morning. I just wanted to have a chat with him and it was best for him to go inside and let the others work.”

Dembele posted two tweets last night from his verified account, containing messages which read: “A man, without his word, is nothing. A real man keeps his word” and “A lie has many variations, the truth has none”.

Rodgers said he would be “disappointed” were the posts aimed at him, adding “the plan was that Moussa signed for four years

“I felt at the time we signed him that if he was playing to the level and was improving, there would be opportunities for him.

“It’s been a delicate situation this week because going back home to France, playing in the Champions League again, has probably appealed to him.

“There’s a way these things happen. We all would love it to go to plan all the time, but if it doesn’t, we have to continue to work. It’s part of the game nowadays.”


About Author


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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