Report: Marseille want Celtic striker Dembele to replace their £13m flop

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic face a battle to hold on to Moussa Dembele this summer with Ligue 1 club Marseille willing to break the bank.

Marseile may not be challenging for the Ligue 1 crown any time soon; oil-backed Paris Saint-Germain have put pay to the idea of a title race in France’s top flight, but the recent project is certainly starting to take shape.

Marseille under financing by American business mogul Frank McCourt, the Ligue 1 club have put the mid-table mediocrity of last season behind them to current sit third in Ligue 1. But with Rudi Garcia’s preferred centre-forward finding the net just six times in 27 appearances, it seems they believe that a prolific striker could be the final piece of the jigsaw.

According to report from Le Foot (14 March, front page), the France tabloid claim that there is a number of targets including Atletico Madrid forward Kevin Gameiro and Porto powerhouse Vincent Aboubakar.

And it seems that the southern club are yet to accept defeat in their chase of Celtic’s France U21 ace Dembele either.

Monaco’s president Jacques-Henri Eyraud confirmed in August of last year that the Ligue 1 club were interested in the £20 million-rated Dembele, after he scored 32 goals in his debut season in Scotland to fire Celtic to the domestic treble.

And despite hitting the net with just 13-goal in 31 games during a relatively subdued second season, it seems the Ligue 1 club would be keen on luring the former PSG talent back to France. It is believed that Dembele would be signed to replace Kostas Mitroglou, the Greek flop who has just four league goals since joining from Benfica for £13 million last summer, as reported by FootMercato.

With plenty suitors from the Premier League in Dembele, and with a number of other strikers on the club’s shortlist, however, it seems a lot of hurdles would have to be cleared before this transfer could happen.

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Donald Stephen

Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on - Facebook and Twitter