Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has refused to be drawn to speculation surrounding defender Dedryck Boyata, who has been linked with a move away from the club this summer.
The Belgian did not travel with the Hoops to Greece for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier second leg against AEK Athens, and speculation is continuing to grow about his future.
Boyata’s agent revealed that Celtic had blocked a potential transfer for his client this summer, with Fulham amongst the teams interested in acquiring his services.
Fulham of course can no longer sign the 27-year-old this summer, with the English transfer window now shut. But it hasn’t stopped him being linked away from Parkhead still.
And Rodgers has refused to be drawn to whether or not Boyata has played his last game for the club, saying that it is sad the player is not with the rest of the squad in Greece.
“It’s more sad than a distraction. He’s a player that we would have loved to have been here with us,” said Rodgers.
“It would’ve been great to have had him here, but he’s not.
“We have to put the faith in the squad of players that want to be here and want to fight for the result and that’s my focus, really – on the players that we have.
“It’s disappointing some of the comments of course but we’ll deal with it internally. My concentration and focus really is just to prepare the team for what is a big game and a fantastic game for us. That’s my only consideration at this moment.”
[Quotes via BBC Sport]
The second leg against AEK is vital, with Celtic going into the fixture knowing they must score in order to go through.