Atletico Madrid step up interest in Diego Costa replacement

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Celtic could be set for a welcome and unexpected transfer windfall if former striker Moussa Dembele completes a January move to a top La Liga club.

The 24-year-old striker, who burst on the scene at Craven Cottage and Celtic Park, has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. The news comes as Atleti seek a replacement for Diego Costa, who cancelled his deal with the club earlier this month.

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Lyon paid £19 million for the services of Dembele at the end of the Scottish transfer window in August 2018, but the deal included a sell-on clause, which gets the Hoops 10% of any future move. That may now benefit Celtic, as Atleti and Red Bull Leipzig are said to be weighing up moves for the player.

Footmercato claims that Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid’s Manager) is a fan of Dembele and could make a bid this month to replace Costa. The ex-Chelsea front man was thought to have left the Spanish club due to personal reason and Luis Suarez is now Simeone’s only striking option.

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Despite the good news for Celtic, they will likely be forced to wait until the summer for any cash, as the report suggests that Atletico Madrid are considering a loan-to-buy offer, meaning any transfer would not be completed until the end of the season.

Moussa Dembele has struggled for game time at Lyon during this campaign. The Frenchman has made just 13 appearances and scored only one goal. This hasn’t depleted the interest in him though, as he has scored over 20 goals in each of his last two campaigns, with an impressive strike rate of 24 goals in 46 games last season.

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