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Moussa Dembele leaves Celtic for Lyon in £19.7m deal

Dembele signs five-year contract with Ligue 1 side

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates after he makes it 2-2 against Rangers
Image: Moussa Dembele scored 51 goals in 94 appearances for Celtic

Moussa Dembele has left Celtic to join Lyon in a £19.7m deal.

The striker has signed a five-year contract with the Ligue 1 side, who had improved their bid after Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday night they had rejected a "significant offer", believed to be £18m, for the Francy U21 international


Later that night, Dembele took to Twitter to post an image containing the phrase: "A man without his word is nothing. A real man keeps his word."

In a statement on Celtic's website, Rodgers said: "Every decision we make at Celtic will always be in the best interests of the club and our supporters.

Celtic's Moussa Dembele

"It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time. It has never happened. In fact, we have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday.

"However, this particular decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.

"The board and myself are united and they have been very supportive to me on this issue.

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said he was disappointed by Moussa Dembele's tweets following Lyon's failed bid for the striker on Thursday

"Our real focus now turns to Sunday's match and beyond, working with our players here who are committed to doing all they can to ensure another successful season for the club.

"Finally, I would like to thank Moussa for his contribution in our last two seasons and want to wish him well in his new adventure at Lyon."

Lyon, who were beaten by Patrick Vieira's Nice on Friday night, had been in the market for a striker following the departure of Dominican Republic international forward Mariano Diaz back to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate Dembele joined Celtic as a free agent in the summer of 2016 from Fulham. The 22-year-old scored 51 goals in 94 appearances during his time at Celtic Park.

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