Celtic could be without two main strikers for Rosenborg fixture

Brendan Rodgers denies club are talking to Marseille about bid for Moussa Dembele

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele  during a pre-season match against Lyon at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele during a pre-season match against Lyon at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

 

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers could be without his two main strikers for the Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg on Wednesday night.

The Northern Irishman claimed the Parkhead club are “100 per cent” not talking to Marseille about the possible transfer of Moussa Dembele, who scored 32 times last season after moving from Fulham.

However, the former Swansea and Liverpool boss revealed a hamstring complaint makes the 21-year-old French striker a doubt for the first leg of the third qualifier against the Norwegian outfit at Celtic Park.

With Leigh Griffiths serving a one-game ban, the Scottish champions could be left with no recognised centre-forward.

“We are looking at a possible injury he may have,” said Rodgers.

“He could be (a doubt) so we could be without him and Leigh so we need to find a way.

“We do what we always do, we will try to find a solution within the team to make it work.”

On speculation linking Dembele with Marseille, Rodgers said: “I counted the other day, Moussa has been linked with 10 clubs. It was Marseille the other day, I saw Arsenal the other week, there was PSG, there was Chelsea so there is nothing in it from our perspective.

“I felt if he progressed the way we thought he’d progress and if he wanted to move any time it would be after the second year. There is no rush from Moussa’s perspective. He is a player that we really want to keep and if anything (offer) did come in we would assess it.”

Defensive shortage

Defender Erik Sviatchenko is carrying a knock which means he “could well miss this game” and with fellow stopper Dedryck Boyata out longer term, 19-year-old defender Kristoffer Ajer “could potentially” come into contention.

“That’s why we have a big squad,” said Rodgers, who is also a left-back down after Emilio Izaguirre joined Saudia Arabian club Al-Fayha after seven seasons at Parkhead.

The Celtic boss said: “On behalf of us all we wish Emilio all the best, he was a brilliant servant.

“In terms of finance, he was offered the chance of a lifetime and it was something the club respected.

“We have other talents like Kieran Tierney, below that Calvin Miller, who is progressing very well, Tony Ralston can play there as well and Jonny Hayes can play there so we are covered but we will assess that over time.”

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