Celtic defender deal hits snag as player wants England move - report
By Matt Farr
Celtic outcast Dedryck Boyata has hit a bump in the road in his bid to exit Parkhead this month – according to a report.
Boyata has made just a single appearance for Celtic this season, and is growing frustrated at his lack of playing time.
Daily Record reporter Craig Swan, currently in Dubai where the Celtic squad are on a mid-season training camp, has reported that Anderlecht are in talks with Celtic over a potential deal for the defender, but negotiations have stalled as Boyata would prefer to return to England.
The 26-year-old has spent much of his career in England, having come through the ranks at Premier League giants Manchester City.
He spent nine years at the Etihad, as well as a season-long loan spell on loan at Bolton Wanderers, before moving to Scotland in 2015.
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The Belgian international looks certain to leave the Scottish Premiership leaders this month, and manager Brendan Rodgers will not stand in his way.
Boyata was a key player under former boss Ronny Deila last season, making 42 appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals.
However, following his appointment at the start of the new season, former Liverpool boss Rodgers brought in experienced centre-back Kolo Toure on a one-year deal, while Rodgers’ preference for the likes of Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic has seen Boyata drop even further down the pecking order.
But despite Boyata’s English preference, Anderlecht remain confident in their bid to land the defender, as the club are based in Brussels, his place of birth.
The Record believes that there are several English clubs showing an interest in his services, but there has yet to be any formal approach.
Football Insider verdict
Boyata is very likely to leave Celtic this month, but while he has a right to have a preference on who he joins next, he shouldn’t stall too much. Anderlecht are keen at this moment in time, but if Boyata continues to stall, they may pull out of a deal and pursue other targets. If no English club comes forward and Anderlecht have moved on, the defender may find himself stuck at Celtic Park until the end of the campaign. Considering he has made just one appearance this term, he would not want that. Anderlecht are a big club, currently second in the domestic league, and still going strong in the Europa League – so a move there would not be a bad thing for him. At 26-years-old, the time really has come for Boyata to find somewhere to settle down and play regular football and try to reach his once lofty potential.
In other Celtic transfer news, the club are set for talks over a surprise deal for this defender.