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Dembele stays

By February 1, 2017May 11th, 2022No Comments

Moussa Dembele delighted the Celtic fans by pledging his allegiance to Celtic amid interest from Chelsea.

Respected newspaper L’Equipe even claimed Chelsea submitted a £40million bid for the France Under-21 international but Celtic maintained their stance that Dembele and goalkeeper Craig Gordon would not be going to Stamford Bridge in January.

Dembele was pictured on a flight to London early on deadline day but it soon emerged he was going for a scan on his injured knee and he later delivered an emphatic signal that he was staying.

The former Fulham striker tweeted a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio delivering the “I’m not leaving” speech from the Wolf of Wall Street film, with himself in a similar pose above.

Celtic earlier confirmed they had rejected an offer for Gordon but at least two players were heading for the exit door as the deadline approached. Motherwell confirmed their interest in a loan move for Nadir Ciftci while Efe Ambrose was at Celtic Park late into the night trying to sort a move to Blackburn.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had already stated before Tuesday that he did not expect to do any business after difficulties getting his targets following the early January capture of Eboue Kouassi. Reports in Africa continued to state KAS Eupen forward Henry Onyekuru was eager to move to Celtic but the Belgian club appeared unwilling to do business.

Ciftci’s potential move to Motherwell resurrected Scott McDonald’s interest in a return to Australia with Western Sydney Wanderers, who have bid for the striker in each of this season’s windows.

McGhee said on Ciftci after his side’s 2-1 win over Ross County: “We are waiting for an answer from Celtic. There is still a possibility, but not an inevitability.”

He added that he hoped McDonald would stay but could not guarantee it. Motherwell do expect to do business after the window shuts by re-signing Stephen Pearson following his spell in India.

The late intrigue around Motherwell and Dembele’s creative intervention provided a welcome touch of drama on a transfer deadline day where none of the top five Ladbrokes Premiership clubs expected to sign a player.

However, Inverness, Kilmarnock and Dundee were all busy bringing in new additions and Partick Thistle experienced some unexpected late joy.

Rangers sold goalkeeper Matt Gilks to Wigan for an undisclosed fee 24 hours after Jak Alnwick arrived from Port Vale, but reported target Reece Oxford joined Reading on loan from West Ham.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes confirmed Cardiff had failed with a third offer for Jonny Hayes worth £600,000 but he could not bring in another signing to join Ryan Christie.

McInnes said: “We have tried hard on one or two other things but you can’t make clubs give you your players.”

Caley Thistle secured a return for striker Billy McKay, who netted 62 goals in his first spell at the club. Wigan forward McKay ended a loan spell at Oldham to join Inverness until the end of the season and Celtic defender Jamie McCart also signed on a temporary deal. Lonsana Doumbouya and Ali Sutherland departed, the former to join Austrian top-flight side SKN St Polten.

Kilmarnock also completed two loan deals – bringing in Conor Sammon from Hearts six years after he left Rugby Park for Wigan, and signing 19-year-old Charlton forward Josh Umerah, described by manager Lee Clark as very quick, strong and powerful”. Scott Boyd signed an 18-month contract after making his loan move from Ross County a longer-term arrangement.

There was a Dutch tinge to all of Dundee’s dealings. They signed former Motherwell forward Henrik Ojamaa on loan from Go Ahead Eagles, loaned Yordi Teijsse to German side Wuppertaler SV, and signed 23-year-old midfielder Marc Klok, formerly of Ross County, from Oldham.

Thistle allowed 21-year-old midfielder Declan McDaid to join Ayr and secured 24-year-old Crawley winger Jason Banton on loan after being rejected by two clubs on Monday.

Hamilton lost out in a bid for McKay and other strikers and will have to look at the free-agent market.

There were a number of development loan moves from Premiership clubs including Kilmarnock goalkeeper Devlin Mackay (Berwick), Motherwell defender Luke Watt (East Fife), Hamilton defender Jordan McGregor (Airdrie) and Hearts forwards Dario Zanatta (Queen’s Park) and Robbie Buchanan (Cowdenbeath).

St Johnstone were forced into the transfer market late on to sign 19-year-old right-back Clive Smith on loan from Preston.

Manager Tommy Wright told his club’s website: “I’m delighted to bring in a young defender for the rest of the season. It hadn’t been our plan but unfortunately Ally Gilchrist has had a significant setback and will undergo further surgery later this week.

“Having committed Liam Gordon and Aaron Comrie to Peterhead for further experience that leaves me with only six defenders for the rest of the campaign. Clive has come highly recommended and will be a good addition to the squad.”

One Celtic player on the move was goalkeeper Leo Fasan, who joined Port Vale on loan.