KARAMOKO DEMBELE could be playing his football in Serie A next season.
That's according to a report in the Italian press today.
La Gazetta dello Sport claims that Pantaleo Corvino, the director of football at newly-promoted Serie B champions Lecce, has held talks with the prospect, whose contract has expired in Glasgow.
Like that of many young talents at the Hoops this summer, Dembele's future has been shrowded in uncertainty since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou.
The report claims that a big money contract worth £850,000 has been put on the table to persuade the youngster that he can be a key part of their team ahead of the Serie A push.
It's unclear at this point if Celtic are resigned to losing the star but it appears likely that his future will be elsewhere.
The 19-year-old was the most highly-touted player to emerge from Scotland in years but he never quite made his big breakthrough into the Parkhead first-team.
There were high hopes in pre-season but he struggled for game time in the season just past with his chances hampered by a pre-season injury and an influx of new arrivals.
An appearance in a home win over St Mirren was one of his few during the campaign.
The arrival of the likes of Jota, Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada in the last two transfer windows has seen him drop down the pecking order, while James Forrest has a new deal and Mike Johnston has shown in flashes what he has to offer.
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The Hoops starlet has been on the fringes of the first-team of late and made a late sub appearance in recent home win over St Mirren.
Demebele first caught the imagination of Scottish football as a 13-year-old when he played the final nine minutes for the under-20 team.
He has been at the heart of a tug of war between Scotland and England youth set ups ensued as both associations looked to win over the next big thing.
He penned his first professional contract at 15 years old with Celtic in late 2018 and would make his first-team debut less than a year later.
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