It is being claimed that a Celtic starlet is on the radar of English Premier League side Chelsea. Karamoko Dembele has long been promoted as a future star at Celtic and made his debut for the club last campaign under Neil Lennon.
Now, according to 90min, Chelsea are wishing to make a transfer for the 16-year-old once their current transfer embargo has been lifted.
Celtic will no doubt be expecting that Dembele sticks around and will likely want to extend his current deal, which expires in 2021, in light of these rumours.
One way they might be able to persuade him that staying at Celtic is the best choice would be to remind him of another one-time wonderkid who once dropped playing for Celtic for a Chelsea swoop. The player in issue is Islam Feruz.
As reported by the IB Times, the Blues signed the talented Scottish youth international for a compensation fee of £300,000 in 2011. It was an exit that left Celtic bitterly frustrated as they felt Feruz was a future star.
It was also a transfer that did not work out. Feruz never performed a game for the club and struggled to stand out in Chelsea’s bloated youth system. Weak loan spells at Swindon Town, Blackpool, Hibernian, Excelsior Mouscron and OFI Crete followed. He also spent a weekend at Krylia Sovetov in Russia and had an unfortunate trial at Kazakh outfit FC Aktobe.
Feruz, now 24-year-old was released by Chelsea in the winter this year and, as reported by The Scotsman, was recently playing park football while Scotland were gearing up to represent San Marino.
Now a lot of that has to do with the single-player, but there is no doubt the transfer to Chelsea so young was not the best career option for Feruz. Just look at Billy Gilmour. His transfer from Old Firm rivals Rangers to Chelsea has been a success, and he is now a part of Frank Lampard’s first-team project.
Celtic, though, will want to use the cautionary tale of Feruz to prove Dembele that the best place to progress his football is in Glasgow.