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Celtic youths

Rodgers steps up Dembele efforts

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Image for Rodgers steps up Dembele efforts

Brendan Rodgers has promoted Karamoko Dembele into his first team training plans.

The 15-year-old is the hottest teenager in European football and can sign a professional contract in February when he turns 16.

Rodgers is well aware of interest in Dembele from elsewhere with the midfielder a regular England internationalist as well as turning out for Scotland.

In September 2016 he became headline news when he enjoyed a 10 minute appearance in the Development League against Hearts but new rules for the Reserve League prevent anyone under 16 from playing in matches.

Dembele looks like bypassing the Reserve League and is expected to be part of the Celtic squad that travels to Dubai for warm weather training next month.

No one at Celtic is taking anything for granted with Rodgers leading the efforts to ensure that Dembele signs a professional contract with the club he began training with at the age of nine.

The first match after Dembele’s 16th birthday is the SPFL home match with Motherwell on February 24.

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