Brendan Rodgers has made an already strong Celtic side, almost untouchable in Scotland but he will now be desperate to establish them as a European superpower in years to come. The former Liverpool manager has an exciting squad at his disposal but remains determined to land some top quality stars, to help the club take the next step in Europe.
However, it will be crucial for Celtic to make sure that they retain the core of the squad that has been successful under the Irish manager. But one such first-team star, constantly linked with an exit is Dedryck Boyata.
Having moved to England for the first time with Manchester City’s academy in 2006, Boyata failed to make an impact at Etihad and after just 13 appearances and two loan spells, he was sold to Celtic in 2015.
In his first season in the Scottish Premiership, he picked up six goals in 42 appearances but did not have the same impact in his second season and the last. He made 28 Premiership starts last season, and five Champions League starts as well and remains a crucial part of Rodgers’ squad for the next season.
He is also a serious part of Roberto Martinez’s plans for the Belgium national side at the World Cup in Russia. Boyata has played every minute of Belgium’s group stage campaign so far, playing at the heart of a three-man backline, that seems to have gotten the best out of him.
At 27, he is an experienced international and has shown great composure at the highest level, making himself a household name in Belgium. His ability to play at right-back and to frustrate even the best of strikers in the game has caught the eye of a number of clubs in Europe.
It is understood that Celtic are desperate to extend his current contract with the club, that runs down at the end of the next season. However, Boyata is stalling on signing the new deal and is now extensively scouted by Italian giants Lazio.
Reports claim that he will wait till the end of the World Cup to decide his future but the Celts will be desperate for him to stay at the club for another season. The exposure he has gained in Russia will certainly help him at club level next season and there is no reason for him to not be a regular starter for Celtic.
So it makes little sense for the 27-year old to quit the Scottish League at this time of his career.