Moussa Dembele: Celtic striker joins Lyon in £19.7m move

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele has completed a £19.7m move to Lyon, the French club have said.

The Ligue 1 club's president Jean-Michel Aulas saidexternal-link the French under-21 forward has signed a five-year deal.

The Scottish champions announced on Friday night that they had accepted an offer for Dembele.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said earlier in the day that a "significant" bid had been rejected for the 22-year-old, and that he did not expect him to be sold.

However, in a statement, Rodgers later said the fresh bid had been accepted "to serve the best interests" of "the culture and environment" at Celtic.

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

Dembele - who was halfway through a four-year deal - sat out Thursday's Europa League win over Suduva after Lyon's bid emerged.

The former Fulham player later posted two tweets, containing messages which read: "A man, without his word, is nothing. A real man keeps his word", and "A lie has many variations, the truth has none".

On Friday, he made a brief appearance on the club's Lennoxtown training pitch before retreating indoors.

"It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time," added Rodgers in the club statement.

"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."

Are Celtic weaker? Or is it good business? - analysis

Sportscene pundit and former Scotland midfielder Michael Stewart

Rodgers said the deal wasn't likely to happen because it didn't give him time to recruit a replacement. What's changed? This transfer window has descended into farce for Celtic. The squad is dramatically weaker now and a lot of it is self inflicted.

BBC Scotland pundit and former Hibs striker Tam McManus

£18m for Dembele is terrific business for Celtic. It's unreal, given they picked him up for £500,000. He was clearly unsettled and wanted to go. The club got the absolute most they could have in my opinion. They had to punt him now.

Chris Sutton
Former Celtic striker and BBC Radio 5 live pundit tweets...
BBC Scotland's chief sports writer tweets...

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