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Rodgers sure Dembele's future is with the Hoops

 

By Ronnie Esplin ·

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Job done: Brendan Rodgers celebrates last night

Brendan Rodgers is confident that Moussa Dembele will still be a Celtic player when the transfer window closes today.

The Hoops boss was speaking after a 3-0 win over Suduva saw the Hoops book their place in the group stages of the Europa League on a 4-1 aggregate.

Leigh Griffiths scored his 100th goal for Celtic before goals from midfielder Callum McGregor and defender Kristoffer Ajer, who headed in his first goal for the Hoops just after the hour mark to complete a comprehensive win over the Lithuanians.

Before the game Ulsterman Rodgers revealed Celtic had rejected a "significant" bid for Dembele, with Lyon having confirmed their interest in the 22-year-old forward on Wednesday night.

Asked if he was confident Dembele, who missed last night's game, would still be a Celt on Saturday he said, "yes" then added: "We will see over the course of the next 24 hours.

"As I said before the game, the club had a significant offer.

"It has been ongoing for a couple of days and we have taken Moussa out of it.

"We don't want him to go. We understand that offer is significant but it has to work for both sides and at Celtic we need to have someone of a certain quality to come in then unfortunately it can't be done because he is not a player we want to lose. I will speak more to him tomorrow."

Rodgers is also hoping to tie up a loan deal for Croatian defender Filip Benkovic before the window closes and bring in former Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu.

Of Mulumbu, Rodgers said: "What I had been after over the course of the summer was a number eight, strong running, aggressive midfield player.

"He showed in his time up here at Kilmarnock, he was outstanding, he had good legs and energy and good experience. He is a very good player."

On Leicester City defender Benkovic, Rodgers said: "I am not sure if it has been totally confirmed yet.

"He was one we are interested in. A young guy coming in with a bright future at Leicester, take him here on loan hopefully and develop his game.

"He is a big threat in both boxes, a big presence, attacks the ball well and it is something the team needs."

Griffiths admitted Rodgers had taken his game "to another level".

The Scotland player was the first to reach the 100-mark for the Parkhead club since John Hartson in November, 2005.

He said: "To get the 100th goal is a big relief. I am delighted.

"If I can get this new contract over the line and another few years, who knows, it depends, if I can set my next target to 150 that would be great. I want to score as many as I can."

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Job done: Brendan Rodgers celebrates last night