While I’m not disputing that French Moussa Dembélé (not to be confused with Belgian Moussa Dembélé, Spurs midfielder) is a hot prospect and one in whom most big teams should be interested regardless of means or circumstance, the timing of this rumor is rather suspicious.
Chelsea were supposedly interested in Dembélé six months ago, when his contract with Fulham was expiring, but the then 19-year-old forward chose to sign with Celtic instead. They paid a £500,000 development fee to Fulham, a massive bargain. Dembélé has been proving to be as good as advertised, if not better, but while circumstances at Chelsea have changed for the better since the summer and are possibly more attractive the youngster, paying £40m for Dembélé still seems a bit outrageous.
BREAKING: Sky sources: Chelsea interested in signing Celtic's Moussa Dembele. Club reluctant to sell & would not consider a bid below £40m.— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 30, 2017
We do have the means to pay such a fee however, so it’s not possible to dismiss this rumor out of hand. That said, maybe it’s just a way of putting pressure on Celtic to get the Craig Gordon deal done? “If you let us sign Gordon, we’ll drop the Dembélé thing.” Or vice-versa.
Let’s get silly. It’s not called Silly Season for nothing!