The Celtic boss feels that the constant rumours linking him away from Celtic will be damaging to Dembélé and revealed that he has been linked with “about 16 clubs”.
However, the North Irish boss confirmed that Dembélé would only be sold for “market value” and that despite having received many enquiries from top clubs for his availability, Celtic have received no official bids from any clubs.
In an exclusive interview with the Scottish Sun, Rodgers also admitted that he was concerned that the rumours could affect Dembele’s form, with the player struggling to replicate his best form of last season.
“Speculation can be very unhelpful for a young player. If you are an experienced player you get used to it,” Rodgers said.
“But if you’ve been linked with so many clubs over a period of time, then it surely can be unsettling. It’s not something that ends up being good for a player.
“There has been a lot of noise around Moussa for 18 months now — but let’s be clear, we’ve not had one bid. He’s been linked with about 16 clubs, but the bottom line is you have to play football.”
Football Weeks’ view
Moussa Dembélé has not been impressive this season – the Frenchman’s certainly not the best forward and consistent goal-scorer he was for the club last season. Dembélé’s only find the net four times in 14 games in the Premiership for Celtic and it appears that his time at the Celtic Park could be coming to an end. Rodgers has always been consistent and straightforward when it comes to his views and intentions on Dembélé and the Celtic boss is strong in the assertion that his best player will only be sold on his terms. That will most likely be in the summer although one can’t rule out a January move for him if the best bid comes in from a top club.
Brendan Rodgers is right that the France Under-20 international needs to play through – his stock is already falling and if he wants to leave Celtic for a top side in the near future, he needs to come back to best again.