SCOTLAND have lost the battle for Celtic starlet Karamoko Dembele after he indicated to the SFA he's chosen to play for England... for now.

The 16-year-old Parkhead forward has famously played for both Scotland and England Under 16s and Under 17s as he's eligible for both nations.

He even helped Scotland Under 16s to a 2-0 win against the Auld Enemy two years ago, but recently has chosen to focus on playing for England.

Just this week he played and scored England's only goal in a 1-1 draw with hosts Spain in an Under 17s friendly and also featured against Germany in two earlier games in the international break.


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Dembele was linked with a move to PSG, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund this month and was also named on an elite list of rising stars in European football. French publication L'Equipe named him as one of six kids in their 'the wonders of European football' series.

Now SFA bosses have privately had to reluctantly concede defeat in their battle to persuade him to play for Scotland after he and his representatives indicated he's chosen the Three Lions, with Hampden chiefs agreeing to respect his decision.

It's understood the FA went out of their way to accommodate Dembele as they view him as high priority and see him as a big part of their future if he continues his spectacular progress. And he's let it be known he is only interested in representing England at present.

Dembele has already been in and around the Celtic squad and made his debut last season against Hearts, but he hopes to be a future England international and the Tartan Army look set to miss out seeing him play for Scotland.

They can still cling to the hope that Dembele changes his mind again later before he wins a full competitive cap, but for now he's firmly in the English camp.