Brighton have lined up a £20million bid for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele next month, according to the Scottish Daily Mail.
The newspaper claim the Premier League new boys are ready to test the water with the offer as they aim to strengthen their front line for the second half of the season.
The Mail report that Brighton manager Chris Hughton failed to secure a number of forward targets over the summer, including Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen, who subsequently moved to Turkey on loan for the season.
Dembele is widely regarded as the Hoops’ prize asset after lighting up Scottish football with his goals and appetite for the big occasion during his season-and-a-half in Scotland.
But he is expected to be the subject of strong interest from Europe’s elite year and Celtic could face a battle to hold on to him.
The current Brighton record transfer fee of £13.5million was paid for Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo back in August.
Good move for Celtic?
Definitely not in January. The club know that Dembele’s value is only likely to rise in the second half of the season, particularly if he goes on a golden scoring run that catapults the club to another domestic treble. They should hold firm and sell the Frenchman for £40million next summer and replace him with four or five rising stars who can help the team make an impact in the Champions League next season.
This Is Futbol rating 2/10
Likely to happen?
Much depends on the player. Is the grass actually greener on the other side for the Hoops spearhead? At Celtic, he is the main man in a fine team and getting the game time and exposure that he needs to develop. There have also been some serious challenges along the way that have brought out the best in him, particularly Champions League fixtures, domestic finals and Old Firm showdowns. Will Celtic cash in on him in January? It would take a serious offer, as they are not desperate for the money.
This Is Futbol rating 4/10