Rangers and Celtic are among the clubs chasing Peterborough United ‘phenom’ Siriki Dembele as bids for the club’s youngest stars are batted away
Dembele is sure to be a target for many clubs in the January transfer window even though his Posh form has tailed off in recent weeks.
Celtic, Fulham, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City have also all been linked with a move for the 24 year-old in the last month, but contrary to some reports he still has 18 months of his current London Road contract remaining so Posh are under no pressure to sell.
Indeed their intention currently is to keep Dembele at the Weston Homes Stadium for the rest of this season in the hope he can help fire the club to promotion.
Dembele qualifies to play internationally with England, Scotland or the Ivory Coast.
His younger brother Karamoko Dembele is a highly-regarded young player at Celtic who are coached by former Posh assistant manager Gavin Strachan so a pull towards Celtic Park is obvious. The Dembele family spent much of the early part of their lives in Scotland.
“Rangers have watched Siriki twice as have the Scottish national side,” Posh director of football Barry Fry confirmed. “Newcastle manager Steve Bruce watched him at Crewe when he didn’t play well.
“There will always be interest in players like Siriki, but we don’t have to sell him. We have him for another 18 months and we’d rather he stayed until the summer when we can reassess his situation.”
Dembele is not thought to be among the highest Posh earners so replacing him with a similar talent if he did leave could be difficult under League One salary cap rules. Posh signed him from Grimsby for around £200k in July, 2018, but would expect a fee at least 10 times that amount for a player with six goals this season.
Fry also revealed Posh have been batting away regular bids for their emerging younger players.
Posh co-owner Darragh MacAnthony described Dembele as a ‘League One phenom’ in today’s (December 23) edition of his popular ‘Hard Truth’ podcast.
“Statistically Siriki is the best player in League One,” MacAnthony, a keen follower of football data, said: “He could do with more goals, but he’s a talent, a phenom who will put bums on seats for sure.
“One Premier League clubs wants him next summer and there are two clubs in the Championship as well as in Scotland chasing him.”