Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has explained striker Moussa Dembele’s transfer deadline day London trip amid interest from Chelsea.
The France Under-20 striker, who signed from Fulham last summer, was pictured on a flight ahead of the deadline.
“It was incredibly ironic that the story broke and our medical team had planned a trip for him actually in Chelsea,” Rodgers told reporters.
“I just said to the medical team: ‘make sure he comes back on the plane’.”
Dembele has scored nine goals in the Premiership for Celtic this season, but has missed the victories against St Johnstone and Aberdeen because of a knee injury.
‘Be like Franco Baresi and just stay tight to him’
Amid speculation over reported interest from Chelsea, a picture of Dembele en route to London was shared on social media.
“It would’ve been the biggest sort of bluff ever if he were being followed,” Rodgers said. “I just said to the medical team: ‘make sure he comes back on the plane if he’s that close!’
“We had to make sure the physio didn’t lose sight of him down there.
“Ironically the hospital he was in was in Chelsea, believe it or not. So I said to Tim [Williamson], 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.”
“Listen, he [Dembele] loves being here. All the other players, they’re playing to a high level. If you’re working at that level, the beauty of it is teams and big teams are going to recognise you in these competitive leagues.”
Dembele tweeted a picture regarding him remaining at Celtic on Tuesday, five hours before the transfer window closed in England.