Celtic supporters must have known this day was coming eventually. Though it’s still far from certain that Moussa Dembele will be departing Glasgow this summer, the events of the last 24 hours have greatly enhanced speculation that the Frenchman’s immediate future lies elsewhere.
According to Sky Sports, Ligue 1 giants Marseille held talks with Celtic after their 1-1 pre-season draw with Rangers on Saturday about the availability of the 20-year-old talisman. It is understood that the Scottish Champions will demand £20 million for Dembele, a player they signed from Fulham for a £500,000 compensation fee 12 months ago.
Dembele helped Celtic secure an undefeated domestic treble
With 32 goals in a stunning debut season, you can see why there’s so much interest in the French prodigy's signature. And Everton, who The Sun claimed see Dembele as a direct replacement for Romelu Lukaku, will not be put off by his affordable price-tag.
Furthermore, when you consider that Dembele commands the same fee as the likes of Olivier Giroud and Islam Slimani, a bid from Everton would seem like a no-brainer.
Arsenal targetman Giroud, who the Express claim is a £20 million target for The Toffees, has plenty of Premier League experience and has hit double figures in each of his five seasons in England’s top flight.
Furthermore, Slimani, who the Express claim is the back-up option if Giroud stays at Arsenal, may not have set the world alight during his first season at Leicester City but he scored for fun with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and has an impressive international record for Algeria.
Their's is a CV Dembele, with just two full seasons under his belt, cannot match.
Giroud is proven but ageing
However, Giroud and Slimani are 10 and nine years older that Dembele respectively and, as a result, have little re-sale value. Everton would not be buying the finished article with the Celtic youngster but they are investing in vast potential and a player who could be worth double in one or two years time.
With Everton looking to the future under Ronald Koeman and director of football Steve Walsh, Dembele could be their posterboy.