It’s interesting how the relationship betweens agents/players’ entourages and certain outlets work, growing over time, sometimes quite obviously.
One of those we’ve seen develop over the past year or so is that of Moussa Dembélé and TF1 in France.
The Celtic forward had an exceptional first season with the Scottish Premiership champions, scoring 32 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions, and was even the subject of apparent Chelsea interest during the January transfer window.
When most media outlets were adamant the Blues could get him, TF1, via their Téléfoot journalist Julien Maynard, were at the forefront of the ‘he’s not going anywhere’ camp, and they were right.
Interviews and awards were given to Dembélé by the TV program over the course of the season, and an obvious relationship blossomed, with Maynard often going out of his way to praise the forward on social media.
Why are we explaining all of this? Because on Monday morning, Sky Sports in England revealed that Marseille had been in contact with the Celtic forward’s entourage about a possible transfer this summer, as the Ligue 1 side are looking for a marquee striker to go with Valère Germain.
Not that we didn’t believe them, but when Julien Maynard took to Twitter to basically confirm the reports, we knew exactly where the news had come from: Dembélé or his entourage.
Contact établi entre OM et l’agent de Moussa Dembélé en vue d’un possible transfert. D’autres clubs sont en avance sur le dossier. #Mercato
— Julien Maynard (@JulienMaynard) July 10, 2017
The French journalist also explained other clubs had a head start in talks for the Celtic striker, but that gap could easily be reduced if Marseille say all the right things.
The interest is definitely there, as Maynard also explained a month ago that Marseille had scouted Dembélé more than once last season.
While they might not have Champions League football (Europa League instead), Marseille would be able to pay him more than Celtic, and offer him a more visible platform ahead of next year’s World Cup, even if his chances of making Didier Deschamps’ squad remain limited.
Our bet is there is some truth to this, but there’s always the chance it’s just a simple ruse to try and force the Scottish Premiership club into offering a new contract.
We’ll keep an eye on it for you.