Brendan Rodgers has slapped a 'not for sale' tag on star striker and reported Brighton transfer target Moussa Dembele.
The Celtic boss was quoted by his side's official Twitter account as he discussed the future of the in-demand Dembele ahead of the January transfer window closing next Wednesday.
Brighton have been touted as serious contenders to prise the France international away from Parkhead, with reports suggesting that they have had a £12m bid for Dembele rejected by the Hoops.
Rodgers revealed that Dembele would not be going anywhere before next week's transfer deadline day as he revealed that the goalscorer had not once asked to depart Scotland.
The Celtic manager said: "Moussa has never once asked to leave Celtic. We’ve had one official bid for him that’s nowhere near our value of Moussa. He’s an extremely talented young player and we are not interested in selling him."
Moussa Dembele at Celtic— Focus on Celtic (@FocusOnCeltic) 24 January 2018
• Games: 70
• Starts: 49
• Goals: 40
• Assists: 11
• Minutes Played: 4447
• Scores or Assists Every 87 Minutes. pic.twitter.com/CtyE1jxsAZ
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Hughton denied that Brighton were interested in landing the 21-year-old earlier in January, but those comments could have merely been a smokescreen to prevent other interested parties from engaging in a bidding war with them.
In further quotes from Rodgers published by the National newspaper, the Northern Irish gaffer stated that Dembele was 'focused' on helping Celtic continue their dominance of Scottish football after his head appeared to be turned by interest earlier this month.
He added: "Naturally, we said a few weeks ago about a little bit of focus but it's only natural, but he has trained, he is working well, is working hard and he is available.
"That's as clear as I can be. In defence of the player, because it is important for supporters to understand, this is a boy that is fully committed to Celtic.
"He has been linked with so many teams so naturally the mind can wander but he is a great boy. He won't be like what you see in some clubs and what you have witnessed before, where players down tools. It is not the case at all.
"He is a really good boy who we want to keep here and the only thing that would ever take him away is if he didn't want to be here and if that is the case then someone would have to meet his value and at this moment at time, neither is the case."