The saga over Dedryck Boyata’s future is finally set to have its conclusion following the reports of the Belgian’s potential transfer to Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin upon expiration of his current deal with Celtic at the end of the ongoing campaign, according to the Scottish Sun based on the news breaking from Germany.
The wantaway defender rejected several extension offers to stretch his stay at Parkhead and also tried to force a move-out last summer. He, however, is now set to part ways after four successful years in Scotland and experience a new challenge with the ambitious German outfit.
The 28-year-old has won seven major honours in his 135 appearances and might end up with two more if Celtic attain the Premiership as well as the Scottish FA Cup glory which they are favourites to conquer within the next few weeks. Boyata’s exit would be a massive blow for the Hoops, but the new boss Neil Lennon has not yet given up hope of convincing the defender to script a U-turn and committing his future at Parkhead by signing a fascinating contract.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there is interest in him, but we are still hopeful that we can persuade him to stay.”
Stated the gaffer (as quoted by the BBC Sport) following his side’s disappointing scoreless stalemate at home against Livingston.
However, the Northern Irishman is indeed fighting a losing battle and should concentrate on finding a replacement who would take charge of Celtic’s resilience and discipline at the back. Filip Benkovic, though impressive, would return to his parent club Leicester City in summer to reunite with Brendan Rodgers. Youngster Kristoffer Ajer holds all attributes to become a success in the upcoming years. But the Norwegian would require an experienced central defensive partner other than Jozo Simunovic who has struggled of late due to fitness and form.
Boyata, meanwhile, would replace Fabian Lustenberger, the Swiss international who is set to return to his homeland at the end of the ongoing campaign. Hertha are having quite an ambitious project under Pál Dárdai and forming a formidable force with a view of grabbing a place in Europe on a regular basis.
Although the Belgian enjoyed sheer supremacy in Scotland, he would experience a more significant challenge in Germany while representing a side who are undergoing a transition but aiming greater glory in one of Europe’s most intriguing and high-profile leagues.