Have Celtic struck one of the best deals of the summer by signing Moussa Dembele?

Fulham's Moussa Dembele looks dejected

Celtic beat competition from several Premier League clubs to sign Fulham's Moussa Dembele, and thrown the gauntlet down to Rangers.

Fulham's Moussa Dembele has a shot at goalFulham's Moussa Dembele has a shot at goal

Celtic this week clinched the signing of Fulham prodigy Moussa Dembele, confirming the deal via their official website.

Dembele scored 15 goals in the Championship last season for a struggling Fulham side, plus a further two goals in cup competitions.

At just 19-years-old that is an impressive feat in a tough division, and it is little wonder there was interest in him from top clubs around Europe.

Tottenham came close to signing him in January, at one point undergoing a medical, according to SkySports, before talks with Fulham fell through.

Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring the second goal for FulhamMoussa Dembele celebrates scoring the second goal for Fulham

Arsenal, Monaco, Galatasaray, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are all clubs linked with signing him over the past six months by various sources, and for Celtic to sign him up is a major coup.

The deal shows how attractive Celtic are as a club, and the pull of new manager Brendan Rodgers, who made Dembele his first signing. 

Widening gap?

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented to the fans after the press conferenceNew Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented to the fans after the press conference

Celtic are an ideal next step for him in terms of development, ensuring he is likely to play regularly and develop a winner's mentality.

This could be at the expense of a recently rejuvenated Rangers, who return to the top flight for the first time in four seasons.

QPR's Clint HillQPR's Clint Hill

Their summer business has seen them invest in experienced players like Joey Barton and Niko Kranjacr, both over 30, while Clint Hill turns 38 later this year - twice Dembele's age.

The thought of Dembele going up against Hill in an Old Firm game should have Celtic fans licking their lips.

For all the talk of Rangers catching up with Celtic, Dembele's signing is a statement of intent from the club, and may just have swung the pendulum in the other direction and widened the gap over their rivals.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch