Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rodgers Responds To Fulham’s Fresh Interest In Celtic Defender: How Should The Manager Play This?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

According to the Daily Mail, Fulham are preparing a fresh bid for Celtic’s centre-half Dedryck Boyata in the winter transfer period. It is believed that Claudio Ranieri can prise him away with a lesser bid in January. The Belgian was a subject of a failed bid from the Cottagers as the Bhoys turned down a £9m bid for their star defender who was coming on the back of a good World Cup campaign. That rejection didn’t go well with the defender as he made himself unavailable from selection even though he was completely fit.

Since then, he has come a long way and has put in some assuring performances at the back. As expected, the 27-year-old did take some stick from the fans, but one can say that the Belgian has now won them over for the time being because of his performances on the pitch. However, it remains to be seen how the player would react if there is a new approach from the Premier League outfit.

Rodgers though seemed relaxed when asked about Fulham’s renewed interest. He said (via The Scottish Sun),”I’m relaxed about it and not worried, really. You can see that he’s a top-class player, so you have to expect that. He’s playing regularly now for the number one ranked team in the world.

“Over my time here he’s grown and developed and improved, he’s a top-class defender for me and when he does the basics well he’s very, very good. I’m sure that teams will look at him – and really good sides.”

There has been no indication so far that Boyata could sign a new deal and Rodgers is definitely trying to play down the speculations right now but come January, he would have a battle on his hand to keep hold of the player. Or maybe the club has already discussed and resigned to the fact that the Belgian would see out his contract.

However, if Fulham does put another bid somewhere around the £9m mark, the club would definitely be tempted to sell. We believe Celtic cannot afford to lose Boyata and Filip Benkovic in the same window. Therefore if the Hoops can keep the Leicester City loanee until the end of the season, then selling Boyata for a decent sum in January won’t be a bad idea given that he would be in the last six months of his contract.

The Cottagers currently have the worst defensive record in the Premier League and one can expect them to go after a centre back to solve some of their defensive woes. Boyata would definitely bring in some solidity and we might have an interesting ahead in the next few months even though Rodgers seems relaxed about the situation.

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