Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola declined to deny any transfer interest in Celtic star Moussa Dembele but described him as “an exceptional player”.
Guardiola’s City will come up against Dembele again on Tuesday night in the Champions League dead-rubber against Celtic at the Etihad.
During the side’s first meeting in September, Dembele scored twice to earn the Bhoys a 3-3 draw at Parkhead.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye of scouts across Europe, scoring 17 goals for Celtic this season, and Guardiola refused to rule out a possible approach for the former Fulham forward.
The City coach said: “If you read the newspapers in the last six months, since I became a coach at Manchester City, maybe I have had contact with 126 players to buy them for Manchester City.
One rule for Klopp, another rule for Pep. Stan Collymore really does not like Guardiola https://t.co/VHTbZ6ucfO
— Football365 (@F365) December 6, 2016
“Dembele is another one. Every week I have contact for the next season to change players. Alexis (Sanchez) was the last one.
“But the quality (in Dembele) is there. He is an exceptional player.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers agreed with Guardiola’s description of Dembele as “exceptional”.
“Yeah, he is. If you watch Moussa and think of his development since he has come to Celtic, then it has been great for everyone,” said Rodgers.
“It was a really good move for him. He wanted to come to Celtic to work and he has done very well.
“He’s still young, only turned 20, and there is still a lot to come from him. There is a lot for him to learn and to improve. But, of course, City felt his performance that night against them at Celtic Park was exceptional.”