England in battle to keep Karamoko Dembele as Ivory Coast approach Celtic star, 19, to switch international allegiance

England in battle to keep Karamoko Dembele as Ivory Coast approach Celtic star, 19, to switch international allegiance

CELTIC starlet Karamoko Dembele has reportedly received an approach from Ivory Coast to switch his international allegiance from England.

The 19-year-old, who has played for Scotland's Under-16s and U17s, last featured for Three Lions U18s in March 2021.

But the youngster could now make his senior international debut this month AGAINST Gareth Southgate's side.

That is according to the Telegraph, who state that Ivory Coast boss Patrice Beaumelle has picked out Dembele as a potential star.

The news outlet adds that Les Elephants are keen on him representing them for Africa Cup of Nations they are hosting in 2023.

It has even been reported how Dembele could feature for Ivory Coast against England at Wembley in a friendly on March 29.

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Given the match is a friendly and not a full competitive international, Dembele would still have the opportunity to change his mind at a later date.

Dembele, who was born in England and raised in Scotland, is eligible to plat for Ivory Coast as his parents are both from the country.

The teenager has been limited to just one appearance for the Hoops this campaign due to an injury-hit season so far.

His future at the Scottish club is in question with the player's contract set to expire in the summer having failed to agree terms on a new deal.

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Celtic boss boss Ange Postecoglou wants the youngster to rack up more minutes with the Celtic B team before he gives him an extended run at senior level.

He said: "It depends. It's his first tentative steps. He's still a long way off being able to be a meaningful contributor because he's just missed so much football.

"The idea is we try and get him some more game-time with the B team and build his fitness up. He's one I was looking forward to working with.

"Unfortunately the pre-season injury means he's missed the majority of the season.

"But he's been back training with us since he's been healthy and he's looking good.

"We've got competition in those wide areas, and depth, so that's his challenge. Mikey Johnston's back training as well.

"With those kind of players, it's giving them opportunities to develop and seeing how far their progress goes."

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