Excitement levels over Celtic signing reaching as far as Madrid

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If Celtic fans were already excited by the identity of Brendan Rodgers’ first signing as Hoops manager, then a ringing endorsement from one of the game’s most iconic ever players will only add to their hysteria.

The former Liverpool boss pulled something of a surprise out of the bag when he unveiled Fulham’s Moussa Dembele as the first player through Celtic Park’s door under his watch.

Premier League clubs like Tottenham were thought to be keen to beat the Northern Irishman to the 19-year-old striker, so there was definitely a buzz around the hooped section of Glasgow when Dembele inked a four-year deal.

But it seems the ripples of delight have spread even further afield, with the Champions League-winning Real Madrid manager praising the coup.

Zinedine Zidane, a World Cup winner and three-time World Player of the Year, recently spoke of his delight that a fellow Frenchman had switched to Celtic, indicating that he believes the former Cottager to be in the right hands to accelerate his development.

“He has a chance to play for a club who are always challenging for the title, who will be playing Champions League football, and for a coach who has played a big part in developing some of the best strikers currently in Europe,” Zidane said.

After scoring 15 goals in the Championship for lowly Fulham last season, and 17 in all competitions, Celtic will certainly have a goal machine on their hands should Rodgers improve his new forward further as Zidane expects.

Having worked with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez at Anfield, the new Bhoys boss is well equipped to get the most out of his teenage purchase.

No Celtic player other than Leigh Griffiths managed to reach double figures for league goals last season, so the potential impact Dembele can make at his new club is clear.

The champions will get their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign underway against Hearts on the opening day and we give them a 3/5 chance of winning.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.