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In-demand Dembele credits Rodgers for remarkable rise

In-demand Moussa Dembele heaped praise on manager Brendan Rodgers for helping him improve to a level that has reportedly attracted the interest of Real Madrid.

The Celtic forward increased his impressive 2016-17 tally to 32 goals by scoring against St Mirren on Sunday as his side secured a place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, where they will face fierce rivals Rangers.

Dembele, who joined from Fulham last year for a £500,000 compensation fee after his contract expired, has been linked with a number of top clubs including Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, while Chelsea were also said to be chasing him in January.

Dembele's team-mate Cristian Gamboa claimed last month the striker was already worth £50million and represented a worthy target for Madrid.

Despite all the interest, the 20-year-old insists he is focused on his Celtic career, paying tribute to the impact of former Liverpool boss Rodgers in his development.

"My whole game is better now than it was this time last season," Dembele told the Glasgow Evening Times.

"That is what the manager has helped me with. He has worked with me a lot on the training ground and I feel as though I am getting better all the time.

"I want to keep pushing. I want to keep getting better and I feel as though I can do that here."

With the help of his goals, Celtic are still unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership, with Dembele revealing he was always expecting to be prolific.

"I was always confident that I would come here and score goals," he said.

"I have always believed in my ability. But I am a better player than I was this time 12 months ago, that is for sure."