Former Marseille coach Franck Passi has revealed the Ligue 1 club were close to signing Celtic sensation Moussa Dembele before the Hoops snapped him up in the summer.

The 20-year-old has been in top form this season, scoring 17 goals in all appearances and recently won the French Under-21 Player of the Year award.

However, Passi explained that Dembele, who was at Fulham at the time, could have been playing in his home country had things worked out differently.

“I wanted Dembele to come to Marseille,” he told French TV show Telefoot.

“We were looking for a replacement for Michy Batshuayi, and among all the players we had mentioned there was Moussa. I contacted his agent and he was very close to coming to Marseille. Then, finally, it did not happen.”

The Hoops forward instead moved to Parkhead for £500,000 where he has been a revelation for Brendan Rodgers’ team, helping them rise 11 points adrift of the Scottish Premiership.

According to the Daily Record, numerous Premier League clubs are interested in signing Dembele, who is valued at around £20 million, however the Celtic manager has no intentions of letting his star player leave.


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