Celtic looks set to lose star striker Moussa Dembele, with the Bhoys accepting an £18m transfer offer.
Sky Sports are reporting (on Christmas morning, no less) that Celtic have agreed the fee with Brighton and Hove Albion for the French U21 international forward.
Breaking… Celtic accept bid from Brighton for striker Moussa Dembélé. Two clubs have reached agreement on transfer fee of £18 million
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) December 25, 2017
The 21-year-old has earned rave reviews since making the switch to Celtic Park from Fulham in the summer of 2016, scoring 40 goals in 67 for the club in the past 18 months. He also played a pivotal role in Brendan Rodgers’ side completing a clean sweep of domestic trophies last season, going unbeaten for the whole of the campaign in the process.
His form last season led to strong interest from the likes of Marseille and AC Milan, and there remains every chance that his previous suitors could return now that they know how much it should cost to acquire his services. Injury problems have curtailed his progress somewhat this year but he remains one of the brightest prospects in Europe and his signature would be a massive coup by Brighton and manager Chris Hughton.
The £18m fee would set a new transfer record for the Seagulls, more than the £13.5m they paid Club Brugge for Jose Izquierdo last summer. Brighton have been faring well in their return season in the top flight – they currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League – but a signing like Dembele would greatly aid their mission to consolidate their place in the league in the remainder of the campaign.
All going well, the deal will be finalised when the transfer window opens in January.
In the final Mixer Football Podcast of 2017, we select our favourite goals, matches and performances of the year, as well as our usual roundup of the latest League of Ireland news.