Tom Boyd, the former Celtic captain, believes that the Parkhead side are in a ‘Catch 22’ situation as they look to improve sufficiently to make an impact in the UEFA Champions League.

The club’s blueprint of attracting raw talent, developing the player and then selling for profit means that in recent summers there is a gnawing fear about holes that can be left with the departure of key players.

Moussa Dembele has been scouted throughout the year by various European and English Premier League clubs with Chelsea noting their interest in the 20-year-old Frenchman in the January transfer window. AC Milan, Seville, Borussia Dortmund and Everton have all been linked with the striker whom Celtic signed from Fulham last summer for just over £400k due to cross-border legislation.

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It is not just the 32 goals in 46 games that caught the eye this term but the platform in which Dembele performed, his goals against Manchester City in the Champions League group stages as well as his goals at under-20 level for France against England ensured he remained in prominence.

Celtic will be well compensated for Dembele, although sources within the club have been steadfast they he will not be sold before the three qualifying games that the Parkhead side must negotiate to reach the group stages again this term.

However, while a fee of at least £30m is expected for the striker, the job of replacing him is a tough ask.

“It will need someone with a very good eye of developing young players but even then that comes with pitfalls,” said Boyd. “If you develop a player then they will be off to pastures new but Scottish football generally can’t hang onto its best players. It is a catch 22 where you try and develop your own or bring people in but if they become news worthy then agents get hold of them. Celtic are in a very strong position just now.

“If Brendan keeps finding the gems like Scott Sinclair and Moussa, then great. Because you still need to go out and find these players. Look at the value of these players now, particularly Dembele, and it would be a price-tag that Celtic could not go out and get. There is a rewarding aspect to that if you can go out and get a player and raise good income for the club as well.”