BRENDAN Rodgers yesterday revealed that Moussa Dembele had conceded that he had never made any promises about when the player would be allowed to leave Celtic during a meeting at their Lennoxtown training ground on Friday afternoon.

Rodgers sanctioned the sale of Dembele to French club Lyon for a Scottish record £20 million fee before the transfer deadline closed following controversial posts the player made on Twitter late on Thursday night and early on Friday morning.

The Northern Irishman, who had initially blocked the move on Thursday because he had no suitable replacement lined up, felt the continued presence of the striker would be detrimental to the harmony of the dressing room.

The 45-year-old was, with Dembele making reference to “a lie” in his social media output, clearly keen to set the record straight following a Celtic victory over Rangers that stretched his unbeaten run in the Old Firm fixture to 12 games.

“The whole episode really was disappointing,” said Rodgers. “I will say a bit on it then that will be it then. It has obviously been very much one way.

“I had a very close relationship with Moussa. I enticed him to come here with a plan going forward. He was, of course, desperate for the move. We wanted to try and keep him because we didn’t have another option. But then there was a line that overstepped from a behaviour perspective.

“I have been in this situation enough times to know whether you can pull it back or not. I needed to speak to Mouss. I had a few other senior members of staff with me, and I just asked: ‘Can you tell the me and the guys in the room here if you received promises from me or any member of Celtic?’ It was very clear and categoric that he said: ‘No’.

“So once he said that that was fine. I said: ‘You can now go if you can get the move’. There is a lot of integrity here within our staff and with our team in how we work.”

Rodgers continued: “I understand the model here at Celtic – it is very much about these talents coming in, you developing them and then moving them on.

“But there was a lot of stuff that was said that was not so nice and ironically not true. But Moussa has got his move, he is back home, he is happy. Deep down, I know he is a good boy. He has done great for us here and I wish him the very best at Lyon.”

Rodgers indicated that Ryan Christie, who came on for Tom Rogic in the second-half yesterday, would feature more prominently for Celtic in future following the departure of Dembele.

“It was very clear it should have been a simple summer for us in terms of getting in the three, maximum four, players that we wanted,” he said. “That didn’t happen.

“We got some other players in, good players who will come in and help us. We will have review, like we always do, so that is nothing new. We will sit and look at it and then we will push on with the rest of the season.

“I have to deal with it. There are opportunities for young Ryan Christie now. We have got a lot of young players who can come in and come through. I am looking forward to that coaching element between now and the end of December – as opposed to talking about transfers.”

Rodgers insisted the Dembele affair hadn’t unsettled his Celtic players in the days leading up to the Rangers game.

“It was very easy, very easy,” he said. “You have to park the stuff that was going on. I work closely with all my players, particularly my senior players, and after it all happened I pulled them into my office and explained exactly where we were at. They respected that. Then we walked out the room and we got on with it.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers claimed that Willie Collum was right not to award Rangers a free-kick for a Tom Rogic challenge on Ryan Jack in the build-up to the Celtic goal despite his opposite number Steven Gerrard claiming it was.

“I didn’t see it as a foul,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of contact from both, really. What’s most important is the referee. Willie was right on the spot so he sees it.”