Date: 27th December 2017 at 7:23am
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Chris Hughton has rubbished reports that Brighton have agreed a deal with Celtic to sign Moussa Dembele.

On Christmas Day Sky Sports claimed that an £18m deal had been agreed for the striker to move south.

Celtic quickly dismissed the story as nonsense with Hughton also bemused by the claim.

Brighton’s need for a goal scorer was highlighted by their 2-0 defeat at Chelsea yesterday but the former Ireland defender had nothing to report on about the ‘Dembele deal’.

I’ve heard reports,” Hughton told The Star about the Celtic striker. “As manager of this football club, I’m quite sure I’d know. There’s been no contact between the two clubs.

“That’s speculation. There are numerous names that are cropping up, thick and fast. At the moment, they’re speculation.”

Dembele was a late substitute in Celtic’s 2-0 win over Dundee with Leigh Griffiths starting the match.

With a contract that runs until June 2020 Celtic have control over the situation but Brendan Rodgers did seem open to the prospect of a move happening next month.

Dembele has had a very clear career plan that involves playing in the Champions League or at the highest club level and is unlikely to put that at risk for a club that is likely to be involved in a relegation scrap.