Manchester City and Chelsea are preparing offers for 13-year-old Celtic sensation Karamoko Dembele, according to the Independent.
City are understood to be leading the chase for Dembele ahead of Premier League leaders Chelsea and Ajax, who feel they can offer him the best development programme.
Despite this, Celtic are desperate to keep hold of one of Europe’s most-talented youngsters, who they have nurtured since he joined the club as a 10-year-old.
The Northern Irish boss has met with Dembele’s family to urge them to allow him to blossom in Scotland, citing the un-related Moussa Dembele as another youth success story.
The 20-year-old forward was on the brink of a summer switch to Tottenham, only for the deal to fall apart and Dembele thrive in the Scottish Premiership – and the Champions League.
While Karamoko Dembele may be a fair way off first-team action just yet – not turning 14 until February – Celtic know they have a real talent on their hands.
The Scottish side played him in an Under-20s game earlier this season, where – despite his tiny stature – he never looked out of place talent-wise, despite playing with stars up to SEVEN age groups above him.
With both Celtic and Scotland keen to keep hold of their asset, the Scottish FA fast-tracked Dembele into two Under-16s games in October in order to tempt him into staying
However, he has also trained with the England Under-15s this season.
With Man City and Chelsea desperate to land their man, the tug-of-war looks set to rage on, both domestically and internationally as the season goes on.