GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) His glut of goals for Celtic this season has made him one of the most coveted strikers in Europe. Now, Moussa Dembele is awaiting a call from France coach Didier Deschamps.
The 20-year-old Dembele, signed last year from English club Fulham, has scored 32 goals in all competitions. His impact has helped Celtic open up a 27-point lead in the Scottish title race.
Dembele has stood out with his clinical finishing, pace and strength, scoring 12 of his goals in the last six games.
France will name its squad next week for a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg, and the former Paris Saint-Germain academy player hopes his scoring feats will lead to a first senior international call-up.
''I would say I'm not far from (the full French squad), I just try to keep working and it will come when it comes,'' Dembele told the BBC. ''I don't think about it. There's a game (against Rangers) on Sunday and the French list is coming out next week and we'll see after that.''
Dembele will have trouble dislodging the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Andre-Pierre Gignac or Kevin Gameiro from the French squad anytime soon. But with France at the top of Group A in World Cup qualifying with 10 points from four games and facing Luxembourg on March 25, Deschamps could well take the opportunity to take a closer look at a player who only made his debut for his country's under-21 team in October.
''People in France know what I'm capable of, so it's not just about this game, it's about what I've done through the season,'' Demebel said.
Dembele said his game has improved since moving to Scotland from Fulham. Whether it has or not, it has certainly made him a transfer target for top Premier League and European clubs.
''I have developed a lot from the first day I came in here. I have learned a lot alongside the manager and the players here. It's been a good season so far for me and the Celtic team,'' Dembele said. ''I am young so I try to learn from everyone and every aspect of the game is important.''