Brendan Rodgers has opened up on the drama surrounding Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata, describing the situation as unfortunate for his teammates who are without his presence in Greece this evening.
The official line is that the Belgian defender is injured, although many fans suspect that is simply a tactic used by his agent to force his exit away from the club this summer.
Rodgers didn’t go into that, speaking about his absence at face value, although reading between the lines it is clear that the Hoops boss is not happy with his defender.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Rodgers said:
I feel for the players. This is a guy who’s been with us on our journey for the last couple of years.
One we supported as a team and a management in what was a difficult period for Dedryck when we first came in.
For him to then grow like he did, we’re now at a period of the season when we really, really need our best players who are fit and available. So it’s the guys that I feel for.
I understand the situation and I respect the situation Dedryck is in, but I feel for his team-mates, really.
This is a game where we need our centre-half and if you’re fit we would have hoped he’d have been with us.
Boyata’s time at Celtic appears to be over. It would take a massive turnaround for him to play for the club again at this stage given the drama of the last week.
The best case scenario for the Hoops now appears to be selling him to the highest bidder as quickly as possible.
His agent seems intent on dragging Celtic through the mud in the media and it’s no surprise that Rodgers appears to be losing patience with it all.
The focus of course is now on tonight’s clash with AEK Athens, where Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry are expected to play at centre-back in Boyata’s absence.
Will Celtic miss Dedryck Boyata tonight in Greece? Let us know in the comments…