'I told the physio to stay tight to him' – Rodgers reveals how he stopped Dembele joining Chelsea
The Bhoys boss explained how he prevented his star striker leaving for the Premier League leaders before the transfer window closed
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he told physio Tim son not to let Moussa Dembele leave his sight as the sought-after forward travelled to London on transfer deadline day.
Dembele flew to the English capital for a scan on his knee, amid speculation that he was set to sign for Chelsea in a £40 million deal before the transfer window closed.
Pathetic Man Utd proving they’re sixth best
With rumours flying around, Rodgers had a plan to make sure his star striker did not agree a deal at the last minute.
“We had to make sure the physio didn’t lose sight of him down there,” Rodgers joked to STV.
“Ironically the hospital he was in was in Chelsea, believe it or not. So I said to Tim, be like Franco Baresi and just stay tight to him.
“But he was happy to come back. He is loving it here. He got some fluid out of his knee, he has had a good reaction to it, so we will see how he is for the weekend.”
Ahead of the transfer deadline, Goal revealed how Celtic were unwilling to sell the 20-year-old former Fulham forward, who has 20 goals in 38 appearances since joining the Bhoys.
Rodgers did not want the France Under-21 international to leave in January, but may be willing to listen to offers in the summer after sealing the Scottish Premiership title.
Chelsea were also linked with Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, but that move failed to materialise before the window closed.
Rodgers was relieved to keep the Scotland international at Celtic Park, and hopes that he can get the 34-year-old to extend his contract at the club.
“It was difficult for Craig because I don’t think he is built for the stress,” Rodgers said.
Fuming Mourinho slams Klopp behaviour
“He is a big guy who is calm and laid back and it probably got on his nerves. But I have reassured him that he is an absolutely massive part of what I’m doing here.
“You see the level of his game, his composure, his quality, everything. And I’m very hopeful that soon we will tie him down for longer here because he is a huge player in relation to how I want my team to operate. That will be our best signing once that gets done.”