Name-dropping Rodgers played key role in Dembele transfer

Date published: Tuesday 21st February 2017 10:45

Brendan Rodgers told Moussa Dembele to ring Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling and ask them for feedback on the Northen Irishman before the striker joined Celtic last summer.

And the bit of name-dropping from the former Liverpool boss did the trick as Dembele arrived from Fulham with several of Europe’s big guns sniffing around the 20-year-old.

Dembele signed a four-year contract and arrived for a bargain £500,000 and just over six months on the French forward has scored 27 goals in 41 appearances to attract even more interest.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are believed to have joined the hunt for the player, who has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea and is now valued in the £20million-plus bracket.

And Dembele’s agent Mamadi Fofana told the Daily Record just how big a role Rodgers played in the player’s arrival at Parkhead.

He said: “Brendan was clear. He explained that Celtic could not pay what some of the other clubs in Europe could pay.

“He even knew what those other offers were. Brendan knew what was going on.

“But what he promised Moussa was that he’d have fun, he’d get his chances to play and he’d be at a top club with everything put in place for him to become a better player, so long as you are willing to work.

“He said, ‘If you don’t believe me, take my phone, call Luis Suarez and ask him what he thinks about me, call Raheem Sterling.

“I’ve developed many players and you can be one of those, but it’s up to you. You will get money in your life, but right now, you are young enough to work and learn and then the big money will follow.

“That was roughly the speech and the fact it was coming from a world-class manager was a turning point for Moussa. He was convinced.

“Although things had to be sorted financially, Brendan wanted Moussa to be his first signing and he was.

“The rest of the story is obvious to everyone.”

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