Celtic have warned a string of European heavyweights that their star man is not for sale, while Arsenal are set to reward Alex Iwobi with his second new pay rise in a matter of months, according to Wednesday’s papers.
CELTIC INSIST STAR MAN ISN’T FOR SALE
Celtic’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond insists the club are in no rush to cash in on in-demand hitman Moussa Dembele, amid claims Real Madrid have joined Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Tottenham in watching the player.
The 20-year-old Frenchman has been a smash hit since signing for Brendan Rodgers for just £500,000 from Fulham.
A strike rate of 12 goals in 17 games – including a hat-trick against Rangers and a brace against Manchester City – has attracted interest from all over Europe.
Asked whether Brendan Rodgers could look forward to Dembele remaining at Celtic Park, Desmond, who is in Scotland to take part in the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am Championship, replied: “I think so. Hopefully we can.
“They’re a team, they’re together, we don’t need to sell any players.
“Hopefully we can retain him but again our job is to have players that are wanted by other clubs in the Premier League and elsewhere.
“That will be an indication of the quality of footballers that we have.”
IWOBI POISED TO EARN NEW ARSENAL CONTRACT
Alex Iwobi is in line for a bumper new Arsenal contract – just six months after his last new deal.
Starlet Iwobi signed an agreement worth £25,000-a-week in April but is now in line for a further extension, which underlines him becoming a fixture in the first team this season.
The 20-year-old Nigeria international has impressed the club’s top brass and manager Arsene Wenger with his progress, and the Daily Mirror claims he will be rewarded with a big rise and another improved contract worth double the money he’s on now.
Iwobi has been one of Wenger’s best recent success stories and Arsenal want to tie him down for the long term and take him up to a good first-team salary.
The Gunners are also set to open discussions with Hector Bellerin, now Barcelona and Manchester City particularly keen on the Spanish right-back.
Wenger is also hopeful of tying down Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to big new deals.
AND THE REST
Crystal Palace are set to launch another raid for Brazilian superstar Lucas Lima having failed in January (The Sun)
Manchester United’s youngsters are fearful of upsetting Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club’s mickey-taking Christmas pantomime (The Sun)
Andre Villas-Boas has finally admitted he was out of his depth as Chelsea manager (The Sun)
Luton Town boss Nathan Jones, 43, is a surprise name under consideration for the Aston Villa job, with owner Tony Xia concerned with how fans would accept former Birmingham manager Steve Bruce (Daily Mirror)
Former Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, 37, wants to manage the club – but says the current vacancy after Roberto di Matteo’s sacking has come too soon (Birmingham Mail)
Steven Pressley, 42, sacked by League One side Coventry City in 2015, is the bookmakers’ favourite to return to take charge of the Sky Blues (Coventry Telegraph)
Gareth Southgate will earn £500,000 for leading England over the next two months – the equivalent of his annual salary as England Under-21 head coach (The Times)
Southgate has been told the FA will not start the search for a new boss until after his four games in charge (Daily Mirror)
Jose Mourinho wants Anthony Martial to put a difficult summer behind him and fulfil his potential after scoring his first goal of the season (The Times)
After nine games, a team from eastern Czech Republic is drawing comparisons with Leicester. Fastav Zlin, a 900/1 shot to win the Czech league title and already dubbed ‘Zlincester’, are in the early title hunt (Daily Mail)
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, 24, says his ambition of playing for England will “take care of itself” and that all his focus is on helping his club (Daily Echo)
Dressing rooms at Manchester City’s training centre are no-phone zones for Pep Guardiola’s squad, with the players’ wifi cut off (Daily Mail)
Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Oliver Burke does not regret turning down Premier League teams for RB Leipzig in Germany (Daily Mail)
Lyon forward Nabil Fekir is ‘like Lionel Messi’, claims Arsenal star and France team-mate Laurent Koscielny (Daily Express)
Branislav Ivanovic has vowed to win his Chelsea place back after being axed by manager Antonio Conte (Daily Express)
Lazio are reportedly set to offer Stefan De Vrij a new deal amid growing interest from Chelsea (Daily Star)
Celtic rate wonderkid Karamoko Dembele so highly they have even allowed him to train with their first-team squad (Daily Record)
Blackburn Rovers fans unhappy with owners Venky’s will stage a demonstration during the televised home Championship game with Wolves on 29 October (Lancashire Telegraph)