Rangers and Celtic-linked attacker Siriki Dembele was absent from Peterborough United’s squad for their EFL Championship opener on Saturday amid transfer speculation.

Back in December, Peterborough’s sporting director Barry Fry claimed that the Gers and the Hoops had watched Dembele on a number of occasions [Peterborough Telegraph] and speculation has continued on and off since then.

Northampton Town v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One

Dembele in League One action for Peterborough last season against Northampton Town. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old – who can play as a winger or a striker – had an excellent 2020/21 season, scoring 12 goals and notching the same number of assists, with the majority of those contributions coming in the league as the Posh secured promotion to the Championship.

Fulham, West Brom and Nottingham Forest are some of the English teams to have been credited with interest and as per United’s policy, Dembele has been transfer-listed as he’s entered the final year of his contract.

Last month, the Peterborough Telegraph reported that he would favour a move to Scotland as he spent part of his childhood there, although his younger brother Karamoko’s presence at Celtic could give the Hoops an advantage.

 

Fry has claimed that a stay at the Weston Homes Stadium isn’t out of the question should no suitable bids land before the window closes, but in a possible hint that an exit is nearing, Dembele was left out of Peterborough’s squad for their 3-0 defeat at Luton Town on Saturday.

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Rangers Peterborough United v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One

Rangers and Celtic-linked Dembele missed the Posh’s EFL Championship opener amid transfer speculation. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Formerly Rangers-linked attacker, Jonson Clarke-Harris, led the line for the newly-promoted side but Dembele didn’t make the matchday 18.

BBC Cambridgeshire Sport suggested after the game that his absence may have been fitness related but the Daily Record believe it to be a transfer clue.

Rangers already have Ryan Kent and Scott Wright in terms of pacy wingers, while Fashion Sakala can also play out wide. However, Jordan Jones’ recent sale and Glenn Middleton’s loan switch to St Johnstone may well have opened up some space in the squad.

Dembele isn’t the only Rangers-linked player to have been left out of a game this weekend, with a £5m-valued international midfielder also missing out for his current club.

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